Matala to Hora Sfakion, Crete, Greece, 16 October 2018.
(Click on any image to see it in a larger size, if you are on a PC or tablet at least.)
The previous post, for the first part of the journey for the day, finished at Hora Sfakion. Next we drove the short distance to FrangoKastello, then the rest of the journey to Sougia. This involved a long detour to the north (see map in previous post) because there is no road along the south coast there.
Notwithstanding the name, FrangoKastello is a Venetian castle. The locals called it the Castle of the Franks as a somewhat sardonic reference to the foreign religion of their overlords (Roman Catholic) and the name stuck.
It was built from 1371 to 1374 to provide protection from pirates and the frequently rebelling locals.
FrangoKastello was last renovated by the Venetians in 1645, shortly before it was taken by the Ottomans.
In 1770, the Cretan rebel Ioannis Vlachos occupied FrangoKastello but later he was captured by Ottomans and executed.
In 1828, a group of locals and Greeks from Epirus occupied the castle as part of an attempt to spread the Greek War of Independence to Crete. They lost a fierce battle and were massacred. The Ottomans subsequently suffered many losses in ambushes by the locals but they stayed.
After the 1828 events, the castle was destroyed so it could not be used in subsequent independence actions, but it was later rebuilt.
The last period of reconstruction and reuse was during the Cretan Revolution of 1866-69.
Items found on the site have included Venetian ceramic vessels, mainly from the 15th century, coins, swords, and a lead seal of the Doge of Venice Lenardius Donato (1605-1612).
Looking up inside one of the towers.
The cars may have been left here by the Venetians during the construction of the castle in the fourteenth century. I was not able to confirm this at the time.
An ancient fortress visible from the road. Due to the absence of gun ports I would guess Byzantine.
Looking down on farmland from the same location.
We are now in Vryses where we stopped for a coffee.
It’s possible some of the buildings may not be newly constructed.
This is the town centre.
We are now heading south on the road from near Chania to Sougia and it is getting very late in the afternoon.
A church and buildings in the shadow of a valley.
A cemetery by a chapel perched on the side of a cliff near Epanochori.
I’m currently travelling in North Queensland. I prepared this post before I left. So far I’m too tired at night to process any images and my guess is there will be no more posts for a while, until say the second week in August..