The Tower of

Kerimides

The Tower of Kerimides
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Episkopi village is located in Mylopotamos provice, near Perama. There lived the Cretan-Turkish family of Kerimides (Kerimoglou) or Kyrimides. They built this tower there, so as to protect their property. Kerimides were Cryptochristians, but did not join the rebels, like other similar families in Crete, when the Great Revolution of 1821 broke out. Later, in the period 1881-1884, when they were convinced that the Cretans would gain their freedom, they revealed their Christian faith.

In 1822, after the unsuccessful operation of the rebels to occupy the fortress of Rethymnon, where the philhellene French Leo Valestra and 100 other young men were killed, the remaining rebels tried to occupy the province Mylopotamou, forcing the Turks to flee in Great Castle of Heraklion.

The Aga of Heraklion, Mullah Kerimoglou, along with his three brothers and 347 guards, left Heraklion and reached Episkopi. They found shelter in the tower, but the Greeks besieged the tower. Being in danger, Kerimoglou sent envoys to Rethymnon and Heraklion asking for help from the Turks. However, the first envoy never arrived in Rethymno, as he was arrested on the way. The second one managed to reach Heraklion and transfer the message. Indeed, around 300 Turks started a campaign against the Greeks, but they were decimated in Sklavokambos area. Learning this, the besieged Turks surrendered in terms that were not kept, thus they were all killed, except for 3 brothers and seven other partners.

After that, the rebels destroyed the tower of Kerimoglou and so far nothing remains of it. However, the locals still call a local building the Tower of Kerimides. However, this is a newer building that was one of the several houses of Kerimides family. This building is imposing and is located next to the Diocese of Episkopi, hosting a folklore museum.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Rethymnon Prefecture
  • Type: Fortress / Tower
  • Peak Period: Venetian Era (1204 AD - 1669 AD)
  • Accessibility: Paved road

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