Gramvousa Venetian fortress

As part of a boat tour we made a stop on a Gramvousa island and with time being limited had to make a choice: Hang out on the beach or make the trek up to the Venetian fortress. We decided in favour of culture and “walked” up to the “fortezza”, which is located on the highest point of the island – 137 meters (roughly 417 feet).

It does not sound like much of a walk, but be warned my friends. If you are completely out of shape, have problems with your knees or respiratory issues – just to name a few conditions – this might make the climb up a minus 10 on the enjoyment scale.

Is it worth it you ask? Absolutely…but see for yourself:


A little history:
The fortress was built between 1579 and 1584 by the Venetians, but as far as we know, was never a focal point of 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.