Since 1991, the Archaeological Museum of Rethymnon
has been housed in the pentagonal building opposite the main gate of the Fortezza.
The building was constructed by the Turks in an effort to strengthen the city's defence. Due to the different functions that it served over the centuries -
until the 1960's it was used as state prison - its original form has been significantly altered.
The museum contains the following collections:
• Late Neolithic (3500-2900 B.C.) and Early Minoan (2800-2100 B.C.) finds from the caves of
Margeles and Helenes.
• Finds from the minoan settlements at
from the peak sanctuary at Vrysinas, dated to the Middle Minoan period (2100-1600 B.C.)
• Late Minoan finds (1600-1100 B.C.) derived from cemeteries, the most
representative being that of Armenoi
• Finds of the Geometric (1000-700 B.C.) and Archaic (700-500 B.C.) periods from
• Finds from Stavromenos
dated to the Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods.
Among the most important exhibits are:
• Clay larnax decorated with a hunting scene.
Found at the Late Minoan cemetery of Armenoi (1320-1200 BC.).
• Figurine of the Minoan goddess. The statuette represents the well-known Minoan female deity with upraised hands.
It was found at Pangalochori
and dates to the Late Minoan period (1320-1200 BC.).
• Marble statue of Aphrodite. Roman copy
of a Greek original, found at Argyroupolis. Dated to the 1st century AD.
• Clay model of a shrine. Preserved only in the upper part, it represents the upper floor of the shrine. It was found at Monastiraki
and dates from the Middle Minoan period (1800-1700 BC.).
• Stone model of an offering table. The fragment preserves part of a Linear A inscription. It was found at the peak sanctuary of
Vrysinas and dates from the Middle Minoan period (1700-1600 BC.).
• Pyxis strainer from Stavromenos. Clay footed vase with a lid and perforated base. The surface is decorated with painted rows
of spirals and floral patterns. Dated to the Late Minoan period (1500-1450 BC.).
• Head of a terracotta female figurine. Found at Axos and dated to 530 B.C.
• Part of a marble funerary stele. It bears the relief representation of a warrior carrying a shield. It was found at Eleutherna and is
dated to the second half of the 6th century BC.