Chania, Crete

Frangokastello (or Frangokastelo) is located on the south coast of the prefecture of Chania, Crete, in the region of Sfakia, 75 km from the city of Chania and 15 km from Chora Sfakion.

Explore the fortress of Frangokastelo, where historic events took place during the period of the Venetian rule, as well as during the subsequent period of the Ottoman rule. 

...Then enjoy the beach of Frangokastelo, in front of the fortress, or the beach of Orthi Ammos, lying just to the east. 

Frangokastello: "The Fortress of the Franks"

Outside the walls of the fortress, you will see a monument that stands there to remind the battles of the Cretans given in Frangokastelo, for the freedom of Crete. 

The leftmost of the two inscriptions, right by the two busts, refers to the period of Venetian rule in Crete and honors the six brothers named Patsous, who pioneered for the freedom of Crete.

During their occupation, the Venetians had the need of a fort that would protect the area from the uprisings of the local population but also from pirate raids.

So, they chose to build the fortress at the specific site, because it was nearby the ruins of a large Christian basilica church, used as a building material. (On the ruins of the basilica church is built the chapel of Agios Nikitas.)

The locals that did not want the fort to be built, derogatory were referred to it as "the castle of the Franks" (i.e. the castle of the Catholics), and they were demolishing during the nights, what the Venetians were built during the day.

Eventually, Frangokastello completed in 1374, while the six brothers fell at the hands of the Venetians and hanged on the four towers of the fortress and the main gate.

Learn more about the Frangokstello fortress. View photos and video footage.

The Battle of Frangokastello during the Ottoman Rule

The busts of General Chatzimichalis Dalianis who came in Crete to help the Cretans, from the region of Epirus located in northern Greece, and of the local Sfakian Stratis Deligiannakis, remind the unequal and bloody battle of FrangoKastello given on 18th-24th of May 1828, between the Greeks, who fought for liberation, against the Turks conquerors of the island. 

The Sfakians insisted that the battle must be given to the mountains and the gorges of Sfakia, where they were trained to fight, but Chatzimichalis Dalianis, who wanted to use his cavalry, persisted to stay, and give the fight to the plain of Frangokastello, having on his side about 700 men against the numerous 8000 Turks. 

The plain of Frangokastello, Crete

When Dalianis felt fighting, and with him, nearly half of his comrades, then, Stratis Deligiannakis who was a sharpshooter, undertook the defense of the fortress.

The Turks, after seeing their losses, capitulated to stop the fight and let the besieged to leave the fort.

The Ghosts of Frangokastelo 

One of the legends associated with the battle of Frangokastelo is that of the Drosoulites which means "The Dew Men." 

It is said that during the mid to late May, i.e. the period which took place the battle between the Greeks and the Turks, the Drosoulites make their appearance in Frangokastelo. 

It is said that appears a procession of ghosts of the Greek soldiers, some are on horseback and others on foot - rigged as then, who pass by the nearby monastery of Agios Charalambos towards the fort and get lost in the sea. 

As the legend says, these are the souls of the soldiers of Chatzimichalis Dalianis, who never buried.

The locals call them Drosoulites, because they appear the hour of morning dew, just before dawn. (In greek: dew means drosoula.

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