This is the most historic Arkadi monastery in Crete , which was to become the most sacred symbol of Cretan struggle for freedom , and here was the tragic holocaust of 1866 which paved the way for the liberation of the island . The Unesco has designated as Arkadi European Freedom Monument . Located east of Rethymnon and around the monastery there are many picturesque churches , while near the monastery starts Arkadi gorge . The original church was dedicated to St. Constantine and ruins are preserved in the northwestern part of the fence . The monastery is surrounded by a strong wall that made unassailable by enemies and rich fortification attract rebellious Cretans. Inside the monastery is a museum which houses the sacred banner of the Arcadian drama, old pictures, weapons of the revolution, vestments, manuscripts, stamps etc.