Spend Time at Koules Fortress on Crete
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The Greek island of Crete is a popular tourist destination thanks to its beauty and rich history. The historical sites are some of the island’s biggest attractions. In Heraklion, Crete, you will find an impressive site in the form of a fortress. Koules Fortress is an attraction you should see while visiting Crete, Greece.
About Koules Fortress on Crete
Koules Fortress is a Venetian castle that was built in the early 13th century when they conquered the town. Koules, in Turkish, means “fortress.” Koules Fortress consists of two storeys and was used to protect the entry to the port. The main intention when the fortress was built was for it to be used as storage of military supplies and foodstuff. The fortress was also used as a prison and a quarter for the officers.
In 1303, a large earthquake destroyed Koules Fortress. The fortress was rebuilt by the Genoses and then restored in the 1500s, which gave the fortress its current form. During the Ottoman rule, Koules Fortress was used again as a prison. Cretan heroes who revolted against the Ottomans were imprisoned in the fortress and were killed in its dark dungeons.
Koules Fortress is of Venetian architecture with walls that could protect the breakwater of the harbor. The fortress was made of stones with a ground floor that has a vaulted roof. There were 26 rooms that were used as the residence of Kastelanos, the officer who looked after the fortress, captains, and other officers. Three carvings of the Lion of Saint Mark once existed at the fortress. The one at the seaside can still be seen today. The upper floor of Koules Fortress was built by the Ottomans. In 1630, there were 18 cannons on the ground floor and 25 cannons on the upper floor.
Spend Time at Koules Fortress
Koules Fortress is a popular attraction in Crete. Each year thousands of visitors make their way to the Venetian castle. The fortress is open to visitors year round and flash photography is allowed in some areas. Exploring Koules Fortress will take you back in time. The two storeys cover an area of about 3,600 square meters. You can see projections on the walls of the fortress that likely supported a wooden mezzanine floor.
After restoration work, Koules Fortress now consists of multiple showrooms, exhibition areas, and information sites. You can easily spend an afternoon exploring Koules Fortress in Crete. You can walk around the outside of the fortress along the path next to the rocks and water. There are places to sit so you can take in the surroundings.
You can get to Crete by plane or by ferry. Traveling by ferry is cheaper, but takes longer than a plane trip. Once you’re on the island of Crete you can get around by rented car or public transportation. Koules Fortress is at the entrance of the old port of Heraklion, Crete.
Visit Koules Fortress on Crete for to learn the history of this important landmark.
This post was written by Greek Boston