Castles of Greece


Isle Gramvousa, Kissamos, Chania,Crete

Gramvousa Fortress

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Gramvousa Fortress
Island Gramvousa, Kissamos, Western Crete
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
Municipality > Town:
City of Kissamos
• Isle Gramvousa
Elevation ≈ 137 m 
Time of Construction   Origin
Castle Type   Condition
Coastal Fortress  

Gramvousa island in ancient times was called Koryko, while the name “Gramvousa’ comes from the Venetian word Garabuse.

On the highest part of the island, at 137 meters, the Venetian built an impressive castle between 1579 and 1584 for the protection of the entire northeastern Crete.


Despite its size and its great capacity (3000 men), it seems that it was not used by Venetians in a major battle. Gramvousa was surrendered to Turks in 1692, after the Turks bribed the Venetian commander (who lived happily after in Constantinople).

The fortress was captured by Cretan Fighters, in 1825, and became the seat of the Revolutionary Committee of Crete. For 3 years it was the basis of more than 3000 rebels, who lacking food in this place, were forced to become pirates. Soon Gramvousa gained a reputation all over Europe as "the Pirate island".

The piracy issue was against the interests of the European forces and in 1828 intervened, A multinational force of English, French and (mainland) Greeks atacked and captured the island. and in 1830, with cooperation of Kapodistrias (Governor of Greece), the island was liberated. Following the London Protocol in 1830, Crete, with the fort, was given back to Turks, till the liberation of Crete.


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