Tower of Maslum Karakasis in Neapolis
In Neapolis town, in Agios Dimitrios area and next to the old aqueduct there was the house of the janissary Maslum Karakasis, which served as a tower. It was said to have 100 doors, one imposing central gate (called Portela today) and 30 arches. Portela gate closed in the same way of the castle Rumeli Hisar in Constantinople. The building was firstly constructed by the Venetian feudal lord Rasqualigo. The coat of arms is still standing above Portela gate and confirms the Venetian past, as well as one Venetian emblem, which was found almost intact during some excavations in the area of the tower.
In November 1827, Maslum Karakasis and 300 of his guards found shelter in the tower, when rebels arrived in Agios Nikolaos (November 18) from Gramvousa fortress during their effort to occupy the fortresses of Spinalonga and Ierapetra. 2000 Turks came from Heraklion to help Karakasis, but the rebels stopped them in the gorge of Selinari and defeated them.
Thus, Karakasis and his followers were forced to surrender and the rebels gathered them in the mosque that was then built at the site of the current church of Panagia, in the central square of Neapolis. The Turks then reacted and killed some rebels who entered the mosque. Then, the Greek Captain Emmanuel Kazanis climbed on the roof of the mosque, opened a hole and threw in burning rags soaked with raki, oil and grease. Thus, the Turks died of suffocation due to the fumes. Masloum Karakasis survived and was moved as prisoner, with his brother Sekir, in Gramvousa and later returned to Neapolis.