Castles of Greece


Kalami, Chania, Crete

Itzedin Fortress

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Itzedin Fortress
Kalami hill at Suda Bay, near Chania, Crete
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
Municipality > Town:
City of Chania
• Kalami
Elevation ≈ 45 m 
Time of Construction   Origin
Castle Type   Condition
Coastal Fortress  
Relatively Good

The Fortress of Itzedin has been built by the Turks 3 decades before the liberation of Crete, on a hill overlooking the sea. It was located 14 km east of Chania Town and very close to the village of Kalami.


It was constructed in 1872 by Reuf Pasha, commander of Crete. It is a typical sample of the 19th century castle architecture of the Ottomans and constituted the main defending spot of Souda Bay.

The fortress took its name from the first son of the Sultan Abdul Aziz and was constructed on the location of an old tower. In the years that followed the liberation of Crete from the Ottomans, the fortress also served as a prison of political opponents, prisoners sentenced to death or prisoners of the common law.

One of its famous prisoners was the future Greek prime minister Eleftherios Venizelos who was held here for 15 days after condemnation for insult of the Greek bishop. This is also where dictator Theodoros Pagkalos was put into prison for 2 years after his overthrow from political power. It opened again in 1948 when political prisoners from Gavdos island (south of Crete) were transferred there. Political prisoners were also sent in Itzedin till the fall of the Greek military junta (1974).

The last death sentence in Greece was executed in Itzedin fortress in 1972. After the prison were closed, the castle was abandoned. Today, there is an effort from local authorities to restore the fortress. In summer, few music concerts are performed in the yard of the prisons.

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