The Koules (Greek: Κουλές, from Turkish: Kule, “Tower, Fort”) is an isolated Venetian-era fortress at the entrance to the Old Port of Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

The fortress dominates the entrance to the Venetian harbour of Heraklion. The Venetians called it the “Sea Fortress” (Castello a Mare or Rocca a Mare), but today it is known by its Turkish name, Koules, a corruption of Su Kulesi (Water Tower). It is one of the most familiar and beloved monuments of the city, and the symbol of Heraklion.

Initially built by the Venetians, it was destroyed by the great earthquake of 1303 and took its final shape between 1523 and 1540. During the Ottoman occupation, when it served as a prison.

Built for the protection of the breakwater, the wall of the city ends here. The fortress is built with massive rocks and has two floors. The ground floor has a vaulted roof with large skylights. Thick walls divide the entire place into 26 lodgings, used as the residences of the Castellan, the Captains and the Officials, as well as warehouses. The upper parts as well as the minaret’s foundations are Turkish.

Single RAW image Tonemapped in Photomatix Pro.

Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Digital Rebel XSi in the USA)
Lens: Sigma 18-200mm


Related shots can be found at Crete, Greece or Eastern Meditteranean.

Featured in : 1’st Knight : 4 Feb 11

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All images shown in this redbubble portfolio are owned by the artist, Tom Gomez and are protected under UK and International copyright laws. Any reproduction, modification, publication, transmission, transfer, or exploitation of any part of the content, for personal or commercial use, whether in whole or in part, without written permission from the artist is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. All rights reserved. My images are NOT part of the public domain.

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  • Valerie Anne Kelly
    Valerie Anne K...almost 4 years ago

    Exquisite capture sweetheART fabulous fave ;~} Valz

  • Thank you so much dear Val …

    – Tom Gomez

  • sarnia2
    sarnia2almost 4 years ago

  • imagic
    imagicalmost 4 years ago

    Magnific Tom – right into a travelers magazine….. well done a FAV for me.

  • Thank you Jens my friend, always appreciated …

    – Tom Gomez

  • David Davies
    David Daviesalmost 4 years ago

    Delightful picture, Tom!

  • Thank you kindly David …

    – Tom Gomez

  • cherylc1
    cherylc1almost 4 years ago

    wonderful Tom!

  • Thank you dear Cheryl …

    – Tom Gomez

  • Bob Culshaw
    Bob Culshawalmost 4 years ago

    Thank you for sharing your artwork with the Photomatix HDR Group!

  • photogaryphy
    photogaryphyalmost 4 years ago

    Fabulous shot Tom, wonderful castle. Fave.

  • Thank you so much Gary mate …

    – Tom Gomez

  • Audrey Clarke
    Audrey Clarkealmost 4 years ago

  • Peter Stone
    Peter Stonealmost 4 years ago

    Fantastic capture Tom

  • Thank you so much Peter …

    – Tom Gomez

  • Brenda Dow
    Brenda Dowalmost 4 years ago

    Beautiful Tom…….. wonderful “tour”!!!!

  • Thank you dear Brenda, I spent an hour or so walking around inside this great little fort. Heraklion is such an historic town …

    – Tom Gomez

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