Welcome to the village of arts & crafts…
Verekinthos is the mountain where, according to an ancient tradition, Idaioi Daktiloi, sons of Zeus and protectors of the Arts, once lived and were worshiped. They came to this mountain to teach age-old arts to men, such as Metallurgy, Pottery, Glassworks and Weaving.
Today, the ancient name of this mountain emerges once again and takes its place in the same site. The above-mentioned age-old arts have been called up to take the place they deserve in people’s life.
In keeping with the long tradition of craftsmanship in our region, we have created the Arts and crafts village “Verekinthos”. Verekinthos is a model environment for reviving and sustaining the arts which have been always an integral part of Cretan life and culture. Arts and crafts village “Verekinthos” stands between Souda and Tsikalaria, at the eastern gate of Chania. At this same place there were many workshops producing pots (tsikalia), giving thus the name to the town. They are some objects that bear witness to the village’s tradition in pottery and other works, such as the old kilns, where potters used to bake their products.
Today, in the very same place we run silversmith’s and goldsmith’s as well workshops for ceramics, sculpture, glass making, hagiography, painting, masks, mosaic, leather, decorative objects and traditional Cretan knifes. Anybody can visit Arts and crafts village “Verekinthos” from 10.00-14.00 and
19.00-21.00 except Saturday afternoon and Sunday.
Some historic evidence…
Idaioi Daktiloi, the most ancient inhabitants of Crete, were first to discover the use of fire, they also discovered copper iron, as well as their elaboration with fire.
A mountain bearing a pre-Hellenic name is considered the place where iron has been discovered. This mountain is Verekinthos.
Idaioi Daktiloi, who were believed to be five (as many as the fingers of one hand) extracted mineral iron from Verekinthos today called Malaxa, in the Chania district and elaborated it on the spot. Some historians also believe that there was an ancient city called Chalkitorion on the very same mountain, whose name in Greek suggests a direct relationship with metallurgy. The attribute of smiths echoes technological de- velopment in prehistoric Crete.
There is plenty of evidence that they functioned in a guild framework with religious implications. Instruction of young smiths evidently constituted a complex procedure, passing through various rituals, as well as mystic and initiator ceremonies.
Undoubtedly Idaioi Daktiloi were special and important figures of creation and progress in the world of mythology. Discovery of certain arts, which even today attract thousands of new craftsmen all over the world, is attributed to them.