The Turkish Castle of Aptera is one of the most impressive and best preserved 19th century structures in Crete. It is a listed historic site with an amazing architecture and it can be reached by car in around 15 minutes from the city of Chania. It is located in the region of Paleokastro.
The Castle of Aptera was named as such due to the ancient city of Aptera which is located nearby. It is also known as the Apteron Fortress or Koules, which is its official name.
The construction works for the fortress began in 1867 under the supervision of Huseyin Avni Pasha and lasted two years. It was built at this location as an observatory, overlooking both the valley of Apokoronas and the port of Souda, to help regain control of the area after the Cretan Revolution of 1866 and to support the second Ottoman fortress located in this area, Itzedin.
After the end of the Turkish occupation period, it functioned as a school for the residents of Apoptera Village (former Megala Chorafia) for a while.
The towers, gates and walls of the castle, as well as various rooms on the inside are in an excellent condition but unfortunately it is not open to the public, as further conservation works are required.