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, it served as a prison, in whose dungeons perished many revolutionists.
Built for the protection of the breakwater the wall of the city ends up in this fortress. It 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.
Crete is the largest island in Greece and the second largest in the eastern Mediterranean Sea (after Cyprus). It is located in the southern part of the Aegean Sea separating the Aegean from the Libyan Sea.
Single RAW image Tonemapped in Photomatix Pro.
Camera: Canon EOS 450D (Digital Rebel XSi in the USA)
Lens: Sigma 18-200mm
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