Monday 3 January 2011

Koules, a Venetian fortress in Crete

A Venetian fortress guards the entrance to the harbour of Heraklion, on the Greek island of Crete.  It was known as Rocca al Mare by the Venetians but after the Venetians came the Ottamans who renamed it Koules.  It was built during the 13th century on a rocky foundation formed by filling old ships with stones from a nearby island, and sinking them in position.

This card was sent to my father in 1983, buy a merchant seaman.  He reported that they were loading grapes in Crete, then bound for Rotterdam and Hamburg.
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  1. I've just searched my file of photos from a holiday we took in Crete in 1980. I was disappointed not to find a photo of that castle as I was sure we had been to the harbour at Heraklion.

  2. Beautiful, would like to visit there one day. Hope you have a great week.

  3. Filling the ships with stones? Wow, I've never heard about this before. What an interesting way to lay a foundation. Although, wouldn't the castle sink over time?

  4. Well, I spent one day only in Crete as part of a Mediterranean cruise a number of years ago. It was a delightful day, finished of sampling raki, their local ouzo ( not my favorite beverage ). I much prefer the wonderful Greek 7 star Metaxa brandy.


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