Kastrologos
Castles of Greece

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Sitia, Sitia, Lasithi,Crete

Casarma Castle

or Casa di Arma  
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Casarma Castle
Location:
Sitia, Crete
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
Crete
Lasithi
Municipality > Town:
City of Sitia
• Sitia
Altitude:
Elevation ≈ 40 m 
Time of Construction   Origin
13th century  
VENETIAN
H 
Castle Type   Condition
Coastal Fortress  
Relatively Good
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The fortress known today as "Kazarma" (Casa di arma), is the most imposing historical monument in Sitia. It was originally a Venetian construction with major modifications during the Ottoman period


History

The fortress was built in the 13th century by the Venetians at the location where a Byzantine city and fortification already existed.

According to contemporary Venetian plans, Sitia was surrounded by a wall running from the south side of the town and the Roman cisterns to the upper part of the Kazarma Fortress, on the west side of the town. This section, triangular in shape, formed the Castello of Sitia.

In 1303 it was partly destroyed by an earthquake which struck the area, and was rebuilt without regaining its former power.

In 1508 it was badly damaged by another major earthquake, while in 1538 Barbarossa invaded Sitia and destroyed most of the fortress.

In the 16th century, the Venetians embarked on a programme of major fortification works across Crete.

At the time, Sitia was completely unfortified but the local Venetian administration sent money for repairs to the fortress in 1555. Some work was carried out but again the fortress regained neither its former glory nor its strength.

sWhen the Turks invaded Crete in 1645, the Venetian General Mocenigo decided that the fortress could not protect the city and withstand a siege, so he moved his men and equipment to Chandax (Heraklion) in 1651.


Structure, Fortification & Buildings

The Turks took turned the Kazarma Fortress into a fort, making major changes to the interior of the structure. The new fort was built over the structure of the old Venetian castle.

What visitors to the fortress see today is the north and east section of the original enclosure, a few rooms inside the enclosure, and the tower, which no longer has a roof.
Visitors can also see the Turkish additions, such as the koubedes (domes) on the guardhouses.

The Kazarma Fortress is built on a hill, making it even more imposing.

On entering the enclosure, you see two staircases leading to the main arched gate of the fortress. Inside the courtyard is a building with three rooms and a saddle roof, considered a Turkish addition.

The fortress was the property of the Civil Aviation Authority until 1966, when it was declared a listed historical monument and the first serious efforts were undertaken to restore it.


Sources




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Road map to Casarma Castle

Access
Approach to the monument:
Easy access since the castle is in the town of Sitia.
Entrance:
Open every day except Mondays from 08:00, until 15:00 from November and 19:30 from April


Other castles around
Castle of Agios Stefanos
Kornaros Tower
Liopetro Fortress
Monte Forte Fortress
Palaikastro of Sitia
Tower of Voila