The Turkish Forts at


Malia Koules
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South of Malia rises a small mountain which locals call Kouledes. Its name is taken after the Turkish fortresses (koule) built by the Ottomans to control the fertile plain of Malia. The Turkish forts of Malia had eye contact so as to communicate in case of emergency. Although they have almost been completely destroyed, the existence of so many fortresses in such close distance indicated how important the plane of Malia and the surrounding passages were for the Ottomans.

The first koules of Malia was not buit on the Mount Kouledes, but at a lower hill called Kefali, near the road connecting Malia with Krassi. The tower overlooks the plane of Malia and the current highway. From the fort, which was small, we can only see the foundations of the walls. Apart from the main building, which is rectangular, we discern a smaller square building on the west side. Next to it there is a stone sheepfold, possibly built with materials from the tower. Access to Koules of Kefali is quite easy as its only 10 minutes walking from the road.

Over Kefali rises the mountain Kouledes and we can see the second Koules of the area, Kato Koules (Lower Koules), accessible by a 15-20 minutes climb. The tower still has only a few walls to a height of approximately 1.5m. Kato Koules has panoramic views across the region.

Kato Koules has direct sight, except from Kefali, to Ano Koules (Upper Koules) located a little higher, just 5-10 minutes to the south. Pano Koules, like Kefali, is in a very poor condition and we are barely able to distinguish the bases of the walls.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Type: Fortress / Tower
  • Peak Period: Ottoman Era (1669 - 1898)
  • Accessibility: Walking

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