Cretan Forts

Castel
Nuovo

Castel Nuovo
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The fort Castel Nuovo (or Kenourgio Castelli) was built on the isolated hill Psilo Kastelli, northwest of the village Kastelli Kenourgiou, near Phaestus. The fort was built by Pescatore in 1206, who named it Nuovo (i.e. New), probably because it was one of the fortresses he built from scratch, without another preexisting. It is believed that this is the site of the ancient city Aina. The entrance to the fort was located on the south side of the hill, where there was a steep staircase.

During the Revolution of two Syvritos (1230-1236) (the Venetians had occupied the island), the fort was occupied by the rebels, after a fierce siege of the castellan Corrado de Milena. During Kallergi’s revolution (1363-1367), the rebels tried to occupy the Castel Nuovo, but in vain. As the number of movements against the Venetians decreased, the fort lost its importance and was eventually abandoned. Only during the Cretan War (Venetian-Turkish war) it was reused.

The name of the castle was also used for the current name of Kainourgiou Province (meaning New). Today the fort is ruined and severely damaged, with only a few parts of the walls and water tanks surviving.

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Additional Info

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