Medieval Tower of


Kornaros Tower at Myrsini
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The Tower of Kornaros (Cornaro) is located at a lush green and quiet position northeast of Myrsine village, 24km west of Sitia and near Mochlos. It is a small square stone-built tower probably of the 15th century that was used as a watchtower during the period of the Venetian and the Ottoman rule, which has good views to the north coast.

The tower has two storeys with a total height of 12m and its base perimeter is 22m. There are two entrances, one on each floor, while on the top there are embrasures. Next to the tower there is the very old church of Saint Anthony, that bore great frescoes (there was one mentioning Alexios Komninos, Emperor of the Constantinople) and a carving dating back in 1677, signed by Vitzentzo Cornaro, probably a descendant of the homonym great representative of the Cretan literature (the poet of Erotokritos died about 60 years earlier).

Around the tower an Ottoman hamlet was developed, due to the existence of a spring with fresh water. In accordance with tradition, the Ottoman Brahimi put a fire in Saint Anthony to burn off the wall and prove his faith in Islam. In 1897, when the Ottomans were evicted, Cretans tried to demolish the tower so as they could not return. The locals blew up the tower with dynamite, however it’s walls cracked without falling and it was first restored in 1920.

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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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