Castles of Greece


Kalyves, Apokoronas, Chania,Crete

Castle of Apokoronas

or Castel di Apicorno  
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Castle of Apokoronas
On a hill east of the little port of Kalyves at the bay of Souda in Crete
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
Municipality > Town:
City of Apokoronas
• Kalyves
Elevation ≈ 45 m 
Time of Construction   Origin
Early 13th century  
Castle Type   Condition
Coastal Fortress  
Rather Poor

The fortress of Apokoronas has been one of the most important forts of the Gulf of Souda. Today very few elements remain from this castle and the location does not look like a castle at all.

The Name of the Castle

According to Strabo, the ancient town of Ippokoronion existed on the hill. Obviously the Venetian name Castel di Apicorno or Bicorna derived from the ancient town. The castle gave its name “Apokoronas” to the entire region and remains even today although no castle actually exists.


The province of Apokoronas during the Venetian Era was the base of the Castellan. The fort was built on a hill east of Kalives village, called Kasteli, where the view across the bay is amazing. The fort was built there for securing the administrative and military control of the territory, controlling the Souda Gulf and protecting the coastline, from where ships supplied with water (there are five rivers around).

The fortress was built in the beginning of the Venetian rule in Crete, i.e. sometime in the early 13th century.

The fort was quite large, because a document of the engineer Monani (1631) mentions that the fort could fit the most people, compared to any other fortress of Crete. The pirate Barbarossa destroyed the fort in 1538. In 1646, before the Turkish occupation, the Venetians disarmed and abandoned the castel. The Turks repaired it, but at the beginning of the Cretan revolution in 1821, it immediately became a target of the rebels, who destroyed it completely.

Today an undefined mass of rubble is remaining. Only a part of the gunpowder armory survives, which is used as a private house.


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