Tower of Genitsaris at


Tower of Mehmet Aga Genitsaris in Kaina
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In Kaina village of Apokoronas Province lived a tremendous janissary named Mehmet Aga Genitsaris. He came in Crete from Tunis in Tunisia and was a descendant of Ali, a commander of the Turkish army that arrived in Crete through Monastery of Gonia in 1645.

Ali's sons took as feud the majority of Apokoronas province and built several forts in Neo Horio, Katochori and Kaina. Thus, Mehmed Genitsaris, who had grabbed the properties of the local Christians from the White Mountains to the shores of Souda and Georgioupolis, came from that family.

Genitsaris settled in Kaina, where he built his mansion with the tower. On this, he built barracks and secret underground tunnels, leading far from the village, in case of besiege.

The general attitude of the Christians towards Genitsaris was very aggressive, due to his toughness, thus when in 1812 Osman Pasha arrived in Crete, so as to suppress janissarism that was then considered dangerous for the Ottoman Empire, his first task was to call Gianitsaris in Chania and force him surrender. Genitsaris however refused to appear in Chania, while he called 400 more janissaries in Kaina to resist Osman Pasha.

The forces of Osman Pasha surrounded the tower of Giannitsaris, with several Cretans participating in besieging. However, Genitsaris used his secret underground tunnels and escaped to the mountains. After that, the property of Genitsaris was burnt. Seeing the total destruction from the White Mountains, the desperate janissary surrendered to the Greek captain Moutsogiannis. Osman, to whom Gennitsaris was ultimately delivered, showed no mercy and strangled him with his own hands. There is no trace of the tower today in Kaina.

Additional Info

  • Location: Chania Prefecture

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