Chania Aptera Turkish Castle

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Location: Kalami

The Turkish Castle of Aptera is one of the most impressive and best-preserved 19th-century structures in Crete. Located in the area of Paleokastro, it is a listed historic site with amazing architecture, and it is a 25-minute drive from Chania Town.

The Castle of Aptera was named after the ancient city of Aptera, which is located nearby, but it is also known as Fort Soumbasis or Koules, which is its official name.

The construction works began in 1867, after the Cretan Revolt of 1866, and lasted a year. Built under the supervision of Huseyin Avni Pasha, it was part of a broader network of over 20 defensive towers (koules), which were built with the aim of regaining control of the area. Thanks to its strategic location, it overlooked both the valley of Apokoronas and the port of Souda, supporting Itzedin, the other Ottoman fortress in this area. 

The fort boasts two towers, one of which faces west, controlling the passage to Keramia, and the other east, controlling the area of Kalyves. It was the biggest defensive complex of its time in the region and disposed of ancillary buildings constructed around a rectangular courtyard. Internal wooden stairs led to the battlements, while the main gate was on the eastern side, protected by a recess.   

After the end of the Turkish occupation period, it functioned as a school for the residents of Apoptera Village (former Megala Chorafia). The towers, gates, walls, and various rooms inside the castle are in excellent condition, but, unfortunately, it is not open to the public, as further conservation works are required.



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