Listed 2 sub titles with search on: Sights
for destination: "FRANGOKASTELLO
Castles, fortresses & fortifications
Tel: +30 28210 56119, 53033,
Fax: +30 28210 56118
The Venetian fortress
was erected by the rulers of the island in 1371, in order to protect the small bay from the pirates. However it was barely used for
defensive purposes during the Venetian era and on the eve of the Turkish attack, it was actually abandoned. In 1828 the Cretan
rebels occupied the fortress and during the siege that followed, its towers were destroyed.
The fortified castle is a typical example of the Venetian defence architecture with a rectangular shape with
towers on each side.
Over the gate, one sees a relief with the Lion of St Marcus and the Venetian crowns. The buildings in the interior, as well as the
battlements, were constructed during the ottoman occupation; at the same time many repairs were carried out. Underneath the fortress,
there are the ruins of the church of St Marcus.
According to tradition, during the second half of May and with a specific weather, shadows of the armed cretan warriors,
who lost their lives there, seem to march towards the fortress. The locals call them "Drosoulites". Near the fortress, is the church of
St Niketas of 1371, where there are traces of an Early Christian basilica. The works of restoration and consolidation were carried out by
the 13th Ephorate οf Byzantine Antiquities.
The Venetian Fort of Frangokastello
The exterior of the Venetian fortress (1371) has survived in excellent
condition although the interior is in ruins. It has a square design with a tower
at each corner. Above the gate is the emblem of Venice, the lion of St. Mark.
The Venetians built the castle to deter pirate raids and to bring some order to
this area. The castle is associated with some fierce battles. In 1828, a small
band of Greeks, headed by Hatzi Michali Daliani, occupied the castle in an attempt
to spread the War of Independence to Crete. He and his small band of rebels were
massacred by the much larger Turkish force on the plain of Frangokastello. Their
martyrdom became the subject of heroic legends and songs. The local legend says
that on or around the anniversary of this battle (17 May), you can see the ghosts
of Daliani and his army. They appear in the early morning, marching from the castle.
These spirits are called "dhrosoulites" or "dew shadows" by the locals.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from the Crete TOURnet URL below, which contains images.
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