Cretan Forts

Monte Forte

Castel Monte Forte at Krya
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Above the village Krya, 25km away from the town of Sitia, there is a hill with the church of Saint George (Agios Georgios) and the ruins of a Venetian castle, called Monte Forte or Apano Castelli (Upper Fort). This position is strategic, because it controls the entire area. The fort has a maximum length of 120m, width of 80m and was built by the Venetians to secure their sovereignty against the local population. The name probably derives from homonym fortresses in Italy.

There were two entrances; one at the south and one at the west side, which was the weakest part of the fortress. Inside the fort, the Venetians built the church of Saint George, a two-aisled vaulted cistern, bastions and several auxiliary buildings.

The fort Monte Forte during the Agiostefanites Revolution in 1211 was occupied by the rebels, but for a while. Similarly, during to the revolution of Skordilis - Melissinos (1128-1236) the fortress was reoccupied by the rebels, but the duke Gradonico managed to suppress the movement. Similarly, the revolution of Alexios Kallergis in 1262 was unsuccessfull.

The earthquake of 1303 completely destroyed the fort, but it was rebuilt a bit later in the same century. Since then, it’s significance decreased and was, eventually, abandoned. During the Ottoman rule it was neither restored nor used, thus today there are a few ruins of the castle.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Lassithi Prefecture
  • Type: Fortress / Tower
  • Peak Period: Venetian Era (1204 AD - 1669 AD)
  • Accessibility: Dirt track

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