The village Houdetsi is located in Creta, in a distance of 20 klm south of the airport and port of the city of Heraklion, in 450 m altitude. The population of the village is
1100 people. It is a traditional village of great beauty, which continuously grows and has many buildings of traditional architecture.
According to some venetian and turkish documents, the name of the village was first mentioned in 1279 A.C. but some archaeological excavations and findings show
that it must have existed since the minoan epoch or even before. There are different versions of myths in relation to the source of the name. Paul Faure claims that the
word ‘Houdetsi’ comes from the word ‘quds’, meaning saint, without explaining the reason for that. Maybe due to the fact that there are many churches in the village
Another belief, according to the narrations of the elderly, is that the first prince to live here was Houndios who also gave his name to the village. The myth says
that he was a very rich prince with unprecedent wealth but it is not certain when exactly he settled in the area. We can probably guess some of the reasons that led
him to this specific place. The first reason would be the water spring which has plenty of healthy water. This is why the valley close to the spring offers fertile grounds which
can be fully exploitated with farming. Also, the sides of the mountain with the flora would also offer a great place for the goats and sheep of the prince to graze.
The area between the two sides of the mountain was a passage which could be easily controlled by the prince and that may be another reason which brought him to Houdetsi.
Finaly, another version for the name of the village is that it comes from the connection of the greek words ‘χους’ (ground) and ‘δÝος’ (awe), a combination which can be
interpreted as you wish…
IF YOU COME TO HOUDETSI, IT IS WORTH SEEING:
The old primary school, built in 1925
The ‘Hantzine’, the old water spring of the village, springing water since ages to the inhabidants of the village and the ones passing by and is aslo the source for watering the flowers of the houses’ gardens. The spring is in the middle of the village, in the churche’s yard. These waters also run down to the brook thus ‘feeding’ other trees also.
The folklore museum of music ‘Labyrinth’, founded in 1982 by Ross Daly, aiming to collect, preserve and promote traditional music instruments from all over the world.
The minoan megaron in Vathypetro, 2 klm away from Houdetsi, which is said to be built in 1600 B.C. and abondoned in 1550 A.C.
The gorge leading to the Sacred Monastery of the Madonna in Cave, a magical natural scenery full of tall platans-trees and plenty of running water, is something that will remain unforgettable to all visitors.
The Monastery of Saint George, 12 klm southwest of Houdetsi, which was built around 1600 and has made a rich fortune since then, from co-founders and venetian donnators. In this place many valuable relics are kept.
The Monastery of Agarathos, 14 klm, eastern of Houdetsi, which is considered one of the oldest monasteries in Crete and is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin.
The castle of Nikiforos Fokas, in the village of Profitis Ilias, 14 klm northwestern of Houdetsi.
The museum of Nikos Kazantzakis, in the village Mirtia, 12 klm away from Houdetsi. The museum is hosted in the family house and is dedicated to the famous cretan writer.