The monastery of Diskouri is located 43km east of Rethymnon and is considered one of the oldest monasteries in Crete. Its age is evidenced by the nearby richly decorated Byzantine church of St. John the Baptist.The complex, owned today by the monastery of Halepa, is believed to have been built over an ancient temple of Dioscuri, but this is not proved. It acquired its current form in the last years of the Venetian rule, when it resembled a fortress.In the center of the courtyard there is the church of St. George. The old icon of St. George is famous to the Cretan herders who swear on that when they are accused of stealing animals.The monastery was badly damaged by the Turks and the distasteful interventions of the 20th century, so it has substantially altered its initial form. In the courtyard were buried the bishops Parthenios and Meletios, and the chieftain of Arkadi Monastery, Paul Dedidakis.