EnglishGreekDeutschFrenchItalianRussian
Crete TOURnet: Home Crete Guide Sights in Crete Venetian Sights The Fortezza in Rethymno

The Fortezza in Rethymno

Lodging list in The Fortezza in Rethymno

Batis Hotel, Vantaris Hotels, AnnaView Apartments, Anthos Apartments

Agios Theodorios Trichinas was probably built on an earlier church, Fortezza
Agios Theodorios Trichinas was probably built on an earlier church, Fortezza
The giant Fortezza dominates Rethymno, and is reputed to be the largest Venetian castle ever built. Designed to shelter the entire population, it included a church, barracks, a hospital, and storerooms.
The Venetians built the Fortezza during a transitional period in military history. In the fifteenth century, armies began using gunpowder in military activities and this prompted the designing of forts which could withstand this type of attack. The Venetians in Rethymno did not have adequate funds to complete the Fortezza according to the new formula for defensive structures. They allowed the houses of the town to remain close to the walls, leaving no distancing space or room for a moat. This, as well as other factors, including a cholera epidemic in the fort, led to a rather easy victory for the Turkish invaders in 1645.
 
Main Gate
The main gate is between the Agios Pavlos and the Agios Nikolaos Bastions that were its protectors. The gate is a tunnel going through the walls, wide and high enough to allow for movement of troops, wagons and artillery.
Artillery Magazine
The Artillery Magazine is the first building on your right as you enter the Fortezza. The bottom floor was used to store the cannons while small arms were kept on the second floor. The flat roofs of the buildings collected rainwater which was then piped to the cisterns. Evidence of the aqueduct system can be seen on the Artillery Magazine.
Cisterns
There were many cisterns in the fort. The flat roofs gathered the water and pipes conducted it to the cisterns. One of the better examples of this is in the Agios Ilias Bastion. It is on the southeast point of the fort, to the left of the artillery magazine (near the open air theatre). This chamber is open and is one of the fort's more interesting sights.
Bishop's Palace
There is some question as to whether this actually was the bishop's quarters, since what remains does not resemble any description of the bishop's palace.
Ibrahim Khan Mosque
After a Turkish attack destroyed the cathedral of the city, the Venetians decided to build the new one inside the Fortezza. The Turks converted it to a mosque after they captured Rethymno and named it after their sultan. The mihrab (prayer niche that points to Mecca) is on the east wall.
Governor's Residence
The original building was very large, but very little of it has survived.
Powder Magazines
Two of three magazines remain. They were located in remote places in the fort. The very thick walls were constructed to withstand cannonball fire and with ventilation holes to keep the powder dry.
Councillor's Residence
This is where one of the two counsellors lived. Their job was to control the residents of Rethymno. Evidence of a Turkish bath is in the upper northwest corner.
Storerooms
The Venetians put the storerooms at the northern wall to be safer from attack. There were underground storage rooms as well as a level above ground. Notice the ventilation holes in the walls. The passage to the gate lies in the middle of these rooms.
Unidentified Buildings
Archaeologist know little about these buildings. The cement trench on the east side dates from World War II and led into a holding room for Cretan resistance fighters whom the Nazis eventually executed.
Civilian Living Quarters
The occupants of these buildings were poor and construction was therefore not strong, so, little remains of the houses.

Photos of The Fortezza in Rethymno:


The Artillery Magazine in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The Artillery Magazine in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
Agios Ilias Bastion, Fortezza, Rethimnon
Agios Ilias Bastion, Fortezza, Rethimnon
The walls of Agios Lukas Bastion in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The walls of Agios Lukas Bastion in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The poorly constructed private houses in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The poorly constructed private houses in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The Storeroom in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The Storeroom in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
Agios Theodorios Trichinas was probably built on an earlier church, Fortezza
Agios Theodorios Trichinas was probably built on an earlier church, Fortezza
The unidentified buildings in the Fortezza and the door that led to the W.W. II prisoner area
The unidentified buildings in the Fortezza and the door that led to the W.W. II prisoner area
Agios Pavlos Bastion and the gate of the Fortezza, Rethimnon
Agios Pavlos Bastion and the gate of the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The unidentified buildings in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The unidentified buildings in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
A Powder Magazine in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
A Powder Magazine in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The Councillor's Residence in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The Councillor's Residence in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The Ibrahim Han Mosque and the Bishop's Palace of the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The Ibrahim Han Mosque and the Bishop's Palace of the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The Storeroom in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The Storeroom in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The mihrab of the Ibrahim Han Mosque, Fortezza, Rethimnon
The mihrab of the Ibrahim Han Mosque, Fortezza, Rethimnon
A Powder Magazine in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
A Powder Magazine in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The Ibrahim Han Mosque in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The Ibrahim Han Mosque in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The presumed palace of the bishop in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The presumed palace of the bishop in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The Venetian Fortezza of Rethimnon
The Venetian Fortezza of Rethimnon
The main gate of the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The main gate of the Fortezza, Rethimnon
A circular sentry-box in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
A circular sentry-box in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The mihrab of the Ibrahim Mosque in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The mihrab of the Ibrahim Mosque in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
A door of Agios Lukas Bastion in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
A door of Agios Lukas Bastion in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
Agios Pavlos Bastion the protector of the Fortezza's gate, Rethimnon
Agios Pavlos Bastion the protector of the Fortezza's gate, Rethimnon
A circular sentry-box in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
A circular sentry-box in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The Councillor's Residence in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The Councillor's Residence in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The entrance to the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The entrance to the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The Councillor's Residence, Fortezza, Rethimnon
The Councillor's Residence, Fortezza, Rethimnon
The lesser gate in the Storeroom in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The lesser gate in the Storeroom in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The unidentified buildings in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
The unidentified buildings in the Fortezza, Rethimnon
Agios Theodorios Trichinas was probably built on an earlier church, Fortezza
Agios Theodorios Trichinas was probably built on an earlier church, Fortezza