Cretan Forts


Castel di Apicorno (Apokoronas Fortress)
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The fortress of Apokoronas has been one of the most important forts of the gulf of Souda near Chania. The Castel Apicorno or Bicorna gave its name to the entire province of Apokoronas, called like this even today, although the fort is destroyed. The province of Apokoronas during the Venetian Era was the a castellany, as Venetian called the administrative regions in Crete and the base of the castellan in Apokoronas was the castle di Apicorno.

The fort was built on the hill Kasteli east of the village Kalives, where the view across the coastline is amazing. The fort was built there for securing the administrative and military control of the territory, protecting the Souda Gulf and the coastline, from where ships were supplied with water from the five rivers of Kalives area.

The fort was quite large, because a document of the engineer Monani (1631) mentions that the fort could fit the most people, compared to any other fortress of Crete. The engineer depicts the church of Madonna inside the fort, that is now below the ruins.

The pirate Barbarossa destroyed the fort in 1538. In 1646, before the Ottoman occupation, the Venetians disarmed and abandoned the castle. The Turks repaired it, but at the beginning of the Cretan revolution in 1821, it immediately became a target of the rebels, who destroyed it completely. Today an undefined mass of rubble remains; only a part of the gunpowder armory survives, which is used as a private house.

Another small fortress was built on the site of the current town of Georgioupolis. The fort of Almyros (Castrum dell 'Armiro), as it was called, was built by the Venetians after the conquest of Crete. The fort was at the heart of the Cretan revolts during the years of Venetian rule, with several battles taking place there. Later, the Turkish conquerors restored and used that till 1821, when they left and the fort was deserted. Today nothing survives from this.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Chania Prefecture
  • Type: Fortress / Tower
  • Peak Period: Venetian Era (1204 AD - 1669 AD)
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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