Kastrologos
Castles of Greece

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Arvi, Viannos, Herakleion,Crete

Keraton

  
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Keraton
Location:
On a hill between the beaches of Arvi and Keratokampos at the southern coast of Heraclion prefecture in Crete
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
Crete
Herakleion
Municipality > Town:
City of Viannos
• Arvi
Altitude:
Elevation ≈ 530 m 
Time of Construction   Origin
Between 10th-12th cent.  
BYZANTINE
H 
Castle Type   Condition
Castle  
In Ruins
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A powerful Byzantine castle on the south coast of Crete atop a steep rock with excellent natural defensing position.

It was built after the 10th century and the reconquest of Crete by the Byzantines, i.e. during the second Byzantine period. It was not used by the Venetians after the 13th century.

The slopes of the hill are full of remains from the Mycenaean, Hellenistic and Byzantine periods. That means that a settlement existed there for many centuries; but not at the top of the hill. The top must have been used as a refuge and became a castle only after the 10th century.

The powerful fortification, the numerous buildings, the 5 cisterns (one of which was huge, 210m3) show that the fortress was designed to become an important stronghold.

One theory places at the long beach under this rock the point where the Saracens first landed when they conquered Crete in 824 AD.

So after the Byzantines came back, they decided to provide a better protection here.


Sources

  • Nikos M.Gigourtakis , Monograph in the History Department of the University of Crete, “Byzantine fortifications in Crete in the 2nd Byzantine period (961-1204)”, Rethymno 2004

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Entrance:
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