The Turkish tower of

Alidakis

Alidakis Chateau at Embrosneros
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Embrosneros is a picturesque village of Apokoronas province, at the entrance of Krapi and Katres passages that lead to Sfakia province. It is located in a strategic position southwest of Vrysses and dominates the area. Embrosneros hosted the chateau of one of the most terrible janissaries in Crete, the Turk Ibrahim Alidakis. Alidakis owned a vast property, which he had stolen from the Greeks, and became the greatest aga of the area. In the nearby plateau of Vothonas, Alidakis raised his horses.

In order to cultivate all this vast area, Alidakis used all locals as slavers. He secured his dominance by building an imposing fortified tower in Embrosneros, having views to the entire province of Apokoronas. Indeed, locals say that he owned the entire area that was visible from highest window of the tower. His property ranged from Vlite to River Mousellas, Asi Gonia, Kallikratis and Askyfou, and from the slopes of Sfakian Mountains to Apokoronas, while he owned several building in Chania City.

Alidakis chateau in Embrosneros was an imposing fort, very well equipped and supported by Turk soldiers. Apart from the luxurious residence, it entailed military facilities, storage rooms, prisons, etc. The chateau had four domes, only one surviving today. Two of them were destroyed before the World War II, while the third collapsed during the war.

The Sfakians, after the unsuccessful Revolution of Daskalogiannis in 1770, sensed the intention of Alidakis to decimate them. Thus, on the spring of 1774, they surrounded the chateau at night, so as to shoot at Alidakis, when he would appear at his balcony in the morning. However, their mission failed as the guns of those who would shoot at him, stopped firing. Almost 300 guards got panicked and almost 180 of them tried to get out, but were killed. Around 120 guards remained in the tower and managed to defend. On the next day, the Sfakians managed to enter the tower and started fighting with hands and knives.

All Turks were killed, including Alidakis, while the Sfakians lost 18 men and 2 women. The tower was forayed and the treasures of Alidakis were transferred to Sfakia, where it was shared to the rebels. The tower was burnt, although a large part of it is still visible today.

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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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