Crete has always been a crossroads of civilizations since the antiquity because of its geographical position- lying among Asia, Europe and Africa- as well as its characteristic history. The birthplace of dance and music (Karl Hoeck, ‘Ancient Crete’), in its modern history gave birth to poets, such as Vitsentzos Kornaros and Georgios Hortatzis, and artists, such as Domenikos Theotokopoulos.
Panormo, a small traditional village, lies in the middle of the north axis of Crete, 22 km from Rethymnon and 55 km from Heraklion. In the end of the previous century, Panormo acquired a distinctive fame due to its port which was the exports center of agricultural products of the region to Western Europe. The basilica of the 5th or 6th century (Saint Sophia) in Panormo presupposes that there was a centre of Christian worship during the early Christian period.
The castle of Mylopotamos (Castello di Milopotamo), built by Pescatore in the region and preserved by the Venetians, is known since 1212. In 1341, the Kapsokalyvai besieged the castle where Alexios Kalergis, who was in the service of the Venetians, was, but they did not manage to take it (Xanthoulides, ‘Venetian Rule’). In 1647, the castle was seized by the Turks. The Venetians under Gildasi, the general, tried to retake it in vain. In 1583, it was set to fire and destroyed by Barbarossa and his pirates.