Etia probably took its name from the tree Itea (willow) The village seems to have been populated since the Byzantine period as one can see from the remaining churches of Aghios-Ioannis and Aghia-Ekaterini. During the Venetian reign it was on of the largest villages of the area with 563 citizens.
The castle fortress known today as "Kazarma" (Casa di arma), is the most imposing historical monument in Sitia.
The Kazarma used to be a military and administrative centre which consisted of a Medieval dwelling surrounded by walls. The fortification of the town and of the Kazarma can be dated to the late Byzantine period.
The olive is a favorite subject in Minoan art. Olive trees, olive branches and olive blooms are depicted in many wall paintings and relief works, found at the palace of Knossos ( 1600-1400 BC) and displayed in the Heraklion Museum today.
For someone who desires to meet a population and live the experience of its culture, the present is not enough. The knowledge of yesterday's life plays a determinant role. That's the result of our creation of the traditional Cretan house that is part of our Cultural Museum.
Monastery Toplou, Palekastro, Eastern Crete
Moni Toplou (Greek: Μονή Τοπλού) is a 15th century monastery located in a dry and barren area in the Prefecture of Lasithi, on the eastern part of the island of Crete in Greece. It is about 6 km north of the village of Palekastro and 85 km east of Agios Nikolaos. The monastery was originally called Panagia Akrotiriani (Virgin Mary of the Cape), after the nearby Sidero cape.
Its current name literally means "with the cannonball", thus called by the Turks for the cannon and cannonballs (Turkish: top) it had in its possession for defensive purposes.
The deserted settlement of Voila occupies the north and west sides of the steep hill located on the eastern side of the Armenochantrades plateau. On the southeast side the settlement is protected by the steep cliff. In the north and western sides of the hill, the houses are built like fortifications, while a short wall is protecting the remaining perimeter towards the valley.
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