Castles of Greece


Krya, Sitia, Lasithi,Crete

Monte Forte Fortress

or Apano Kastro  
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Monte Forte Fortress
Krya village, 25km from Sitia, Crete
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
Municipality > Town:
City of Sitia
• Krya
Elevation ≈ 585 m 
(Relative Height≈30 m)
Time of Construction   Origin
early 13th century  
Castle Type   Condition
Rather Poor

Next to the village of Krya, 25km away from the town of Sitia, there is a hill with the church of St. George and the ruins of a Venetian castle, called Monte Forte or Apano Castelli (Upper Castle)


It was built by the Venetians early in the 13th century, probably at the location of an older byzantine castle. This position is strategic, because it controls the entire area.

Monte Forte during the Agiostefanites Revolution (1211) was occupied by the rebels, but for a while. Similarly, during to the revolt of Skordilis - Melissinos (1228-1236) the fortress was reoccupied by the insurgents, but the Duke Gradonico managed to suppress the uprising. The same happened in the Revolution of Alexis Kallergis in 1262.

The earthquake of 1303 destroyed the fort, but was rebuilt in the 14th century. Since then, it’s significance decreased and was, eventually, abandoned. During the Ottoman rule it was neither restored nor used, thus today there are a few ruins of the castle.

Structure, Fortification & Buildings

The fort has a maximum length of 120m, width of 80m.

It had two entrances from the south and the west side, which was the weakest part of the fortress. Inside the fort, the Venetians built the church of St. George, a two-aisled vaulted tank, bastions and several more buildings.


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Road map to Monte Forte Fortress

Approach to the monument:
Like most remote, ruined and neglected fortifications, entrance is not an issue. The difficult part is to approach the castle and walk around inside.

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