Friday 3 August 2012

The impressive Venetian fortress in Heraklion - "Koules"

Read in Swedish: Den vackra venetianska fästningen i Heraklion - "Koules"

A few days ago I took the boys (our two sons and their two friends from Athens) with me to have a closer look at the old Venetian fortress in the harbour of Heraklion.

Unfortunately it was closed though, and has been closed since 2007! They're doing some restoration works and the fortress will not be open for visitors until 2013. It's nice to see it from outside anyway.

This fortress, "Rocca al Mare", was built 1523-1540 on top of the remains of an older fortress. During the Turkish occupation (at Crete 1669-1821) it got the name "Koulés" and this name has remained.

On the walls you can see the lion of St. Mark, the symbol of the Republic of Venice. At one picture above you can see the remains of a minaret which was added by the Turks (Ottomans).

The inside is very beautiful! I have been inside many years ago. It has been used for art exhibitions, theatre and music performances. The walls are very thick!

This impressive fortress is of course very characteristic for the capital of Crete, Heraklion (named Candia these times), as well as the shipyards (arsenals) and warehouses which also are parts of the Venetian harbour.

Don't miss a walk on this pier when on visit!


Maybe of interest:
Old black and white photos of Heraklion, Crete


Amos Gitai said...

Fantastic place. One of many things Venetians left to Greek territories.


Eva in Athens, Greece said...

It really is! Nice page in Italian about Crete you have.