Cretan Forts

Intzedin

Intzedin Fort
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The fort of Intzedin is the only fort on Crete built by the Ottomans that is not categorized as koules.  It is located on the hill Kalami, 15km east of Chania and has a panoramic view to the bay of Souda. The fortress of Intzedin was built in 1872 by Reouf Pasha, at the same location where in 1646, after the occupation of Chania by the Ottomans, they built a small tower. It was the main defensive construction of the Souda port and was named "Intzedin" to honor the first born son of the Sultan, Abdul Aziz Intzedin. In posterior years, the building was used as a prison for political prisoners, prisoners of the common criminal law and for prisoners of death penalty.

In the period of Cretan Statehood (1903), the Cretan politician Eleftherios Venizelos (later the most important prime minister of Greece) was imprisoned there for 15 days for objurgating Prince George. During the years of the dictatorship of Theodoros Pagalos (1924), a large number of political prisoners were held in the prisons of Intzedin, while after the fall of the dictatorship in 1926, the former dictator Pagalos was also imprisoned there for two years. During the German occupation and the first years of the civil war, the prisons were closed. However, towards the end of the civil war the prisons of Intzedin opened once again.

In 1948, prisoners were transferred from the hell of the prisons of the island Yaros to the prisons of Intzedin, where many communist political prisoners were executed. Many people, mainly communists, suffered in the medieval, dark and hostile cells of Intzedin especially during the dictatorship of 1967-1974. The last role of the fortress, as a place of imprisonment of political prisoners whose only crime was to fight for their ideas and for democracy, became an inspiration for literary works and for the film industry. The movies "Days of '36" and "Stone Years" include references and shots from the fortress of Intzedin.

The fort is closed today and it can be visited only on the feast day of Saint Eleftherios (14 and 15th December), when the homonym chapel that was built by the prisoners celebrates (eleftheria means freedom in Greek).

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Additional Info

  • Location: Chania Prefecture
  • Type: Fortress / Tower
  • Peak Period: Ottoman Era (1669 - 1898)
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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