Smaller towers of

Crete

The rest towers of Crete
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Heraklion prefecture

Several towers were built in other areas of Crete, like Heraklion prefecture. At Panassos, in the Turkish neighborhood located 500m southeast of the village, there was a tower, which was used by the Turks during the great revolution of 1821. The chieftains of the area, led by Astrinos Hatzidakis, tried to occupy the tower, but in vain and Hatzidakis was killed. Today, the visitor can still see some ruins of some walls.

Another tower was built in Karkadiotissa, Temenos Province. In Alithini village of Messara there was the tower of Mullah Roustemis, where he had captured the local Greek leaders. Captain Korakas with six more rebels forced the mullah to release the prisoners. Another Venetian mansion, called Konaki, is still surviving in Pompia village, with very nice staircases and carved windows.

In Anopolis, there was the tower of the feudal lord N. Bono, the foundations of which are still visible. Bono was granted the area as a fief in 1370. Towers were also built around Agia Pelagia and Fodele, so as to protect the two homonym peaceful bays.

Koundouros Tower in Malia

In the plain of Malia there was the Tower of Koundouros. The Turks found shelter in there on August 7, 1867, during being attacked by the Cretan rebels (Kozyrakis, Kokkinakis, Sfakianakis, Tyllianakis and Limniotakis). There was a second tower in Gouves, the Konak of Kalopsouzis,which was also used by the Turks on March 1868.

Tower Priotissa and the Red Tower

South of Tymbaki and quite close to the sea, there is the Byzantine church of Panagia Pirgiotissa. Near the church, there was built, during the Second Byzantine period (961-1204), a small tower by the Byzantines so as to oversee and protect the area from pirate raids. This tower went down in history as the Tower of Pirgiotisa (Castel Priotissa) and the entire region was named after it.

It seems that the Venetians tried to restore the tower, demolished the original one and built a new larger before 1340. The tower, which was a spying tower (torrete di aviso) is mentioned in a note from Basilicata (1615) on the left bank of Geropotamos or Malonitis river.

The tower was destroyed several times by pirates. It is believed that the most recent raid of pirates against the tower was that of Ambou Hafs Omar, who conquered Crete in 824-827. Till recently, it was considered that the Arabs landed in Psari Forada bay.

The tower was demolished in 1558 by the Turks and reconstructured according to the plans of Giulio Savorgnan. Since late 16th century, however, it was reported as damaged. Bourgs (settlements) started developing around the tower, which eventually evolved into villages. There were 22 such villages 1583, with more than 2500 inhabitants. Today, nothing remains of the tower.

The Red Tower

West of Tymbaki, in a short distance, lies the seaside settlement of the Red Tower (Kokkinos Pirgos). The settlement was named after a tower that was built with red soil, but nothing more is known.

Lassithi Prefecture

Besides the towers already mentioned, Lassithi Prefecture had many more towers. One of them was located in Petras, east of Sitia town, where the Cretan rebels in 1828 forced the 35 Turk guards to surrender. This tower had a narrow arched door, from where a staircase to the first floor started. Currently there are no traces of the tower in the area.

North of Malles village, on the hill Kazarma, there was a Turkish rectangular tower, 7x7m, with two bastions on its south side, which was probably owned by Chanialis, the most renowned Turk feudal lord of Lassithi prefecture. Some ruins are visible even today. Here, at the beginning of 1823, Hassan Pasha encamped with his soldiers during his campaign against the villages of South Dikti slopes.

Near Kalogeri settlement (west of Ierapetra) there was the tower of Hajji Ali, which served as a spying tower of the invaders at the foot of Lassithi Mountains. This tower was a constant target of the rebels. On November 27, 1868, the chieftains of the region, Lakerdas and Hatzakis, beat Turks here and forced them to flee to the fort of Ierapetra.

Also in the village of Stavros or Kapistri there are still visible some ruins of a tower. The tower blocked the valley of Ierapetra from the north.

Another Venetian Tower was built in Chrissi Island in the early 14th century. The tower was built by Andrea Dandolo, who was given the island as a fief, so as to exterminate the Algerian pirates who ravaged the southern shores of Crete.

A Venetian tower was also built in Latsida village. In Skinias, there are the remains of a Venetian or Byzantine circular spying tower. The tower was built on the hill of Prophet Elias and a part of it still stands upright.

Another tower was built in the east of Ierapetra. It was built by a Venetian feudal lord, probably by Jacob Barozzi or Francesco Moudatso, and was later used by the Turks. Ruins are still found at the southeastern edge of the village. From there, we can see that its shape was rectangular and the total area exceeded 1.5 acre. On the north side, a 5x6m building survives, while most of the area is now covered by houses.

Other towers were mentioned in documents by Gerola. Some of them are the tower of Tourloti, the Tower of Chandras (possibly belonged to the family of Salamon) and Sfaka. Another tower was built in Mouliana.

Rethymnon Prefecture

There was a Turkish tower in Skaleta area, that was called Arsanianos Tower because it belonged to Arsaniou Monastery. Moreover, there was a tower in Pikris, belonging to the Venetian lord Giorgio Clodio, which was later used by the Turks for spying Arkadi Monastery. Another villa of Clodio was located in Chromonastiri village, which still survives and hosts the military museum of the Greek Army. Furthermore, there was a Venetian Tower in Avdanites village.

A Genoese Tower is mentioned in Veni settlement of Arkadi, while several Venetian buildings and one Turkish tower are refered in Amnatos. There was a fortified tower in Ano Maroulas, where the Turks on June 7, 1821, after having slaughtered many Greeks and their priest, killed each other for three girls they captured.

Venetian mansions are also mentioned in Meronas village (Amari Province), just next to the Church of Virgin Mary, and in Alfas (Milopotamos Province). From a script of 1594, we learn that there was the Venetian Tower of Sanguinato in Pigi village. Lastly, there is an old photo taken from Gerola depicting a tower in Gerani, not surviving today.

Chania Prefecture

In the area of Gerani, there was the tower of Aziz Bey. Near the tower, the rebels of Ioannis Geraniotis in 1826 decimated the 50 Turks of the garrison, led by Hadji Hasobey.

In Georgioupolis, the Turks had built a mansion, which was also used as a tower. In 1878, after the General Meeting of the Cretans that took place here, the rebels totally destroyed the building.

On a hill east of the settlement Anydri (Paleohora area), in the position Sternes, the visitor can still see the ruins of a tower and the walls of water reservoirs. There is no information about the tower.

In Agios Kyr Giannis of Kissamos Province, the janissary Mehmed Eminis had built a powerful tower for controlling the Christians of its area, Kalathenes and Tsikalaria villages. Eminis was killed by Vasilis Farandos.

The settlement Harvata, today named Peristeri, was a part of the settlement Vouves in Kissamos area. Here was built a tower, where, in 1821, the chieftain John Papadogiorgakis or Geraniotis accompanied by 25 rebels, entered the tower, killed ten Turks and plundered their weapons. Then that night, they all came to the village Kyrtomado and after killing almost all the Turks, he fled to Theriso. This was actually the first military operation of the Great Cretan Revolution in 1821.

There was also one tower in Fournes (V. Bernand 1897) and one in Chalepa area, inside Chania city, called Ouzounis or Zounis Tower. There was a tower in Keratidi (current Limni village) that was built around 1821 and was occupied by rebels in 1897. Moreover, in Kavousi, Kissamos province, the visitors can still see the remains of a small tower dating back in 16-17th centuries. Continuing, there was one tower southeast of Vryses and another in Pardaliana, near Kakodiki, which belonged to Tzinalis.

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