Cretan Forts


Castel del Corner (Kornari Fortress)
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Castel del Corner or fort Paleochora is located on the hill Kastelos south of the village Katalagari, province Pediada, at an area full of olive trees and vineyards. According to tradition, it was built by the Byzantine emperor Nicephorus Phocas after the liberation of Crete by the Arabs in 961 AD. During the Venetian rule, the castle belonged to the Venetian family of Cornaro (Corner) and controlled their feud land. Almost nothing survives today, except a part of the enclosure and the foundations of the buildings.

A few meters to the west there are many wine presses, carved into the soft limestone, which were possibly used since the Minoan Era. During the Venetian rule, like many places in Crete, this placed produced large quantities of the wine variety Malvasia, one of the most famous wines in the Medieval Europe.

Just off the courtyard there is the small church of the Life-Giving Spring (Zoodohos Pigi), with murals preserved in very poor condition. A similar fortress with wine presses and a temple dedicated to Life Giving Spring is the fortress Melissa near the village Agios Thomas.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Fortress / Tower
  • Peak Period: Second Byzantine Era (961 AD - 1204 AD), Venetian Era (1204 AD - 1669 AD)
  • Accessibility: Dirt track

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