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Information on the Island of Crete

Venetian Buildings - Loupassis S.A.

Chania

Of the Venetian city of Chania one whole neighbourhood remains, while of the fortifications (early 13th century), the bastions, moat and ruins of the walls surrounding the city have survived. Other monuments from that era are the Loggia (once a gentlemen´s social club), the Hiones (Neoreia) (16th century), the breakwater of the Venetian harbour and the churches of San Francesco (the Archeological Museum), San Rocco, and of the Saviour (tou Sotlros).

District of Chania

Southwest of Kissamos, a 43 km, west of the city, near the village of Kalathenes, is the Villa Rotonda, most probably the country estate at some Venetian feudal lord, dating to the 16th or 17th century.

At Agria Gramvousa, a remote islet in the northwest part of the district, are the remains of a Venetian fort. Getting to the islet is difficult, and can only be done by caique from Kissamos, weather permitting, departing early in the morning during the summer.

At Peleohora, washed by the waves of the Libyan Sea, 73 km. south of Chania, the ruins of Castel Selino rise out of the shore. Duke Marino Gradenigo, governor of Crete, built this fortress in 1279.

Frangokastello

About 11 km east of the Hora Sfakion (Sfakia), is the site if the old "Castel Franco" (Frankish Castle), built by the Venetians in 1371 as a detente against pirates and Cretan rebels.

Rethimno

The Great Gate, one of the old city gates left over from the Venetian fortifications of 1540 - 1570.

The Loggia, mid - 16th century, was a social club where the lords and noblemen used to meet and relax. It is now the Archaeological Museum.

The Rlmondi Fountain, north of Petihaki Square, a 17th centuri work.

The Fortezza, north of the city, on Paleokastro hill. Built in 1574, it offers a marvellous view of the city and the sea. The facades of Venetian houses, most at which are found in the old city.

The churches at San Francesco and Our Lady of the Angels, known as the church of the "Little Virgin" (Mikri Panayia).

Iraklio

The old fortifications at Handak, reinforced for the Venetians in 1462, are still in good condition today. Of the fortress´s seven bastions, the one called Martinengo - where the simple tomb of Kazantzakis is located -has survived and offers a view over the entire city. Two of the four entrance gates to the city, the Hanla Gate and New Gate, still stand on the south side.

Kules is the name of the imposing fortress at the entrance to the Venetian harbour. It was constructed between 1523 and 1540.

The Bentenaki, the breakwater running from the Venetian harbour to the bay of Dermata or Koum-Kappi. The vaulted arsenals, the shipyards where the Venetian galleons were built.

The Morosini (1628), Delimarco (1666),and Bembo (1588) fountains on the north side of Kornaros Square.

The Palazzo Ducale, the residence of the Duke of Crete and the Loggia (reconstructed), the noble´s social club.

The Basilica of San Marco (13th c.), today an excibition hall, and the Orthodox church of Aghlos Titos (1446).

District of Lassithi

Spinalonga

Rock - isle at the entrance to Elounda Bay, 12km. from Agios Nikolaos, the site of the ruins

of a fortified castle built by the Venetians in 1526 to prevent enemy ships from entering the harbour.

Sitia

70 km east of Iraklio. The scant remains of a fortress built during the Byzantine era stand on the western limits of the city.

lerapetra

36 km southeast of Agios Nikolaos. On the far western side of town, near the sea, lie the ruins of a fortress erected in the early years of Venetian rule and radically rebuilt in 1626 by Francesco Morosini the elder, when he was Governor of Crete.

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