The most important passage of Rethymnon prefecture was that of Agios Vasilios (to the south), as it was the crossing point for passing from Mesara to Sfakia area. Thus, several defensive towers (koules) were built after the great Cretan Revolution of 1866 by the Turks in order to control the rebels. Such one koule was built near the entrance of the gorge Kourtaliotis, near the village Koxare. The tower was partially destroyed by the Cretans in 1896.
The fort of Koxare is remarkable in terms of defensive architecture. It is closely connected to the history of the area and the memories of the local people. It consists of a large inner yard, enclosed all along the western side by two adjoining spaces linked with arches. Those spaces are roofed with domes. At the eastern part, there is an edifice, which is also roofed with a dome that lies lower than the other two, all along that side. It is accessible through a ramp on the southern side. The fortress was built of local whitish stone and hard mortar. Both inside and outside, it is coated and the thickness of the masonry is 1,20 m. The western and eastern parts of the fort have collapsed. There is a cistern for the collection of rainwater, whose internal hydraulic limestone has been preserved.