Top 5 forifications in Crete

Frangocastello in Crete

Frangocastello in Crete ©michaelbrys/Flick

Crete offers more tourist activities than any other Greek Island being the largest of them. Some parts of the island were overwhelmed by tourist resorts and massive hotels, but fortunately Crete is still hiding many undiscovered treasures by the agitated crowds.

The Island of Crete gathers the experience of thousands of years of civilization, being the owner of a significant cultural heritage that includes years of Roman, Venetian and Turkish domination, each leaving its mark on the Cretan culture, tradition and architecture.

Today we would like to present you the top 5 forifications in Crete.

The Koules Fortress of Heraklion

The Koules Fortress watches ober the Venetian port of the city of Heraklion. It was built by the Venetians in 1211. The construction of the Koules Fort anticipated the construction of the new city walls. It collapsed after the great earthquake in 1303 and was rebuilt between the years 1523 and 1540 acquiring its presenr form. During the Ottoman rule (1669 – 1898), the Koules Fortress was used as a prison and many inhabitants of Crete lost their lives in his basement.

Koules Fortress in Crete

Koules Fortress in Crete ©taver/Flick

The Venetian walls in Heraklion

The city walls of Heraklion were built in the 15th century and it was the greatest project developed during the Venetian rule. The later extensions and developments of this fortification took place in the 16th and 17th centuries. The walls have four doors and the covered perimeter is 3 km.

The Fortress of Gortyna

One of the most important archaeological sites in Crete, the remains of the city of Gortyna started to be unearthed in 1884. This place has known its flowering period between the years 1600 and 1100 BC. The city remained prosperous in the Hellenistic period and during the Roman domination Gortyna was promoted to the provincial capital of Crete. The city of Gortyna was destroyed in 824 by the Arabs. The most important archaeological discovery here is the famous law code of Gortyna.

Remains of Gortyna in Crete

Remains of Gortyna in Crete ©Andrew and Annemarie/Flick

The Fortezza Fortress

The Fortezza Fortress in Rethymno was built by the Venetians between the years 1573 and 1580 to protect the inhabitants of this place against the Ottoman threat. The fortress has a star shape with three gates and six bastions. Inside of it you can see the church of St. Nicholas, which was converted into a mosque by the Ottomans. Here were also the residences of the learders of the armies, outbuildings, warehouses and homes, which were later destroyed.

The Frangokastello

One of the top 5 forifications in Crete and the most important historical attraction in Chania is the Frangokastello or the Castle of the Venetians. It was built between the years 1371 and 1374 and was the military base of the Venetian army. The castle has a rectangular shape with massive towers in each of the four corners. However, the buildings and fortifications that you will visit inside the castle were completed by the Turks.

Frangocastello in Crete

Frangocastello in Crete ©michaelbrys/Flick

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