Being a part of a Dominican monastery named Santa Maria Magdalena, VENETO was inaugurated by Michele Sanmicheli in the mid 15th century.
This well-known Venetian architect had taken on the construction of the fortress of the town of Rethymno (Fortezza), after its reoccupation by its enemies, the Genovese. Before starting building the fortress though, he renovated VENETO, LOGGIA (the officers assembly house), as well as three other houses in order to lodge the Venetian noblemen who were responsible for the supervision. In the mid 19th century VENETO was bought and renovated by the Turkish Bey Risvan who gave it to his young newly widowed sister. At the beginning of the 20th century and after the population exchange, το VENETO was given to Prokopakis Family by the Greek Government, as an acknowledgement of Emmanuel G. Prokopakis’ heroic contribution to the Macedonian Rebellion (1903 – 1908).
Veneto is an impressive architectural ensemble. The entrance is towered over a mosaic arch of the 1st Venetian Era, witness of the age of the building. Right beside it, the imposing stone staircase that leads to the upper floors emerges from a unique pebble floor with elaborate patterns. Party walls 80-120 cm wide assembled with plaster from Santorini, three stone wells, two fountains, a sublime yard and many particular corners make up a unique architectural puzzle. Elements of Venetian, Turkish and Greek architecture bound together through the centuries within a single building. Stone, wood, metal and blown glass. Long-lasting, stable materials but so beautifully bound together, as if they never want to separate, reminding us that simple things are usually the most beautiful ones.