The Orthodox Church played an important role in liberating Greece from Turkish occupation. Set amid the rural foothills of Psiloritis (Mount Idi), 23 kilometers southeast of Réthymnon, this fortress-like 16th-century monastery is surrounded by high stone walls. Today, it’s a wonderfully peaceful place, with a delightful Baroque church and a rose garden, but it has not always been so. In 1866, the monastery became the central meeting place for Cretan revolutionaries, with the Abbot as chairman. During an uprising against the Turks, some 900 locals (mainly women and children), who had taken refuge here, chose to blow themselves up rather than surrender. Outside the monastery, their skulls are displayed in glass cabinets, as a haunting monument to their bravery.