Zoniana is a mountainous village and the only settlement of the homonymous community of the Mylopotamos province on the eastern side of Rethymnon. The village is 43 km away from Heraklion and 52 from Rethymno. They are located in Psiloritis (mountain Ida) at an altitude of 620 to 725 meters and within walking distance of the famous Anogia. During the 2011 census the village had 1,117 inhabitants, who are mainly engaged in livestock and agriculture.
Τhe village had two other names before it got its current name. It was originally named Zuliana by the shepherd Za (born of Zou), who discovered water at this site and then took the name Zoutolakkos (meaning Zou in the pit). Finally, the name is identical to the god Zeus (Zeus). Zoniana was thus named by the local expression “Live God” (ie, “Hear me, my God”).
In 1821 the Zonians revolted against the Turks, led by Mavroyiannis. In 1866, 17 Zonians fought in Arkadi and were massacred in the dining room of the monastery when they finished their munitions. From the Balkan Wars in 1912 to the 1928 Minority Campaign, 13 Zonians and 17 in the Greek-Italian War fell in 1940.
At the entrance of the village there is the cave of Sfendoni or “the Spenton or the Hole” with rich stalactites and stalagmites. Typical events are “Shotons” every year that are performed with theatrical performances and celebrations with local lyrers. A museum of waxes was created in the village by Mr. Dionisis Potamianos. The “POTAMIANOU” Museum includes 87 waxworks, which in natural size represent, in front of the viewer’s eyes, scenes from the history of Crete