Chania Castles and Forts

Forts and Castles of Chania, on Crete: Many forts and castles can be visited in the region of Chania. These fortifications date from the Byzantine times and onwards, and they were constructed to defend the island from enemies and pirate invasions. After the Byzantines, the Arabs, the Venetians, and the Ottomans, all these ruling Crete from the 15th till the early 20th century, also built fortifying works.

A famous castle in southern Chania is Frangokastello, whose name means the castle of the Franks (Venetians). Built in 1371, this castle is connected with the ghost story of Drosoulites, dead Cretan fighters who come out of the sea on horseback few dawns of May.

Also famous is the Castle of Gramvoussa in Balos, built to protect the island from pirate invasions. Built on top of a very steep rock, this castle gives an amazing view of the Aegean Sea. The castle of Selino in Paleochora, in southern Chania, is also a typical sample of Venetian architecture. In northern Chania, worth-visiting is the Turkish Castles of Aptera and Itzedin, which was used as a prison till 1974. Driving around the prefecture of Chania will also bring you in front of many such fortifications.

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