Spend Time at the Fortezza on Rethymno, Crete
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There is so much to do on the Greek island of Crete that it can be hard to choose! If you’re not staying directly in Rethymno, you should make some time to head and there and see the sites. The Fortezza is one of the things you should do while here. Originally founded by the Minoans, Rethymno boasts the distinction of being the first civilization of Crete. This ancient town features a vibrant culture that is perfectly accentuated by the modern amenities of the charming area. Rethymno features a myriad of historic landmarks, including the Fortezza castle and fort. Here’s more information:
Getting to Rethymno
While it may seem daunting to get to Rethymno, the reward is well worth the travel. Although the bustling town of Rethymno has no airport of its own, it is easily accessible by bus from both Chania or Heraklion. Both of these cities are served by air, making it easy to hop a public bus after a flight. A myriad of airlines service these two airports, including easyJet, Ryanair, Jet2, and Aegean Airlines. Heraklion is located approximately 90 minutes away by a bus while the ride from Chania will take about one hour. Bus tickets can be purchased once you arrive in Crete. Alternatively, travelers can take a ferry from the Athens Pireaus port to Crete, arriving in either Chania or Heraklion.
About the Fortezza of Rethymno
As the Acropolis of Rethymno, this ancient fortress was built by the Venetians between 1540 and 1570 as a protective force against the Turkish pirates. The construction of the towering fortress employed the work of over 100,000 Cretans and 40,000 pack animals. Despite its sturdy construction, the Fortezza was captured by the Turks in 1646. The fortress has been under the control of numerous empires and people throughout its storied history.
Many of the buildings within the walls of the protective citadel were destroyed during World War II. However, despite the centuries of raids and destruction, a few historic buildings, as well as the actual citadel, are still in good condition and open to the public for touring. In modern times, the Fortezza continues to tower over the town of Rethymno, serving as a constant reminder of the region’s historical significance on the world stage. You cannot go anywhere in Rethymno without seeing and feeling the protective presence of the impressive Fortezza.
What to Do at the Fortezza
There are a variety of things to see while spending time at the Fortezza of Rethymno. Within its irregular walls, visitors will find four demi-bastions. Within these bastions, visitors will find highlights such as the Ibraham Han Mosque, the Bastion of Santa Maria, and the church of Agios Theodoros Trichinas. The 20th-century Theatre of Erofili is located inside the St Elias Bastion, located on the south end of the Fortezza. This modern theater holds many events throughout the year, making it a popular gathering place for the community.
While on the Greek island of Crete, you should definitely make time to visit the Fortezza, which is located in the city of Rethymno.
Categorized in: About Crete Greece, Greek Travel Guide
This post was written by Greek Boston
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