The Ingedin fortress is a unique Ottoman fortress in Chania. It is located on the Kalami hill, 15km east of Chania city and it enjoys a panoramic view of Souda bay. It was built in 1872 by Reouf Pasha on the same spot the first Ottomans, defeating the Venetians, built a tower in 1646.
It has been the dominant defensive establishment of the port and was named after the first son of Abdul Aziz Ingedin Soultan. In the years that followed, it was mostly used as a political prison, a regular prison and a death penalty prison.
During the period of the Cretan state (1903), Eleftherios Venizelos was imprisoned in the fortress for 15 days after being convicted for insult because of the lawsuit of the Metropolitan of Crete Eumenios, who was favoring Prince George.
During the dictatorship of Theodore Pagalos in 1924, a great number of political prisoners were held there, while after the fall of the dictatorship, Pagalos himself was imprisoned for two years.
During the German occupation and the first years of the civil war, the prisons were closed. During the later years of the civil war, the fortress re-opened.
In 1948, the first communist political prisoners were brought to the fortress from the Gyaros purgatory, initiating the first executions. In the dark medieval dungeons of the Ingedin fortress imprisoned communist prisoners and other political prisoners were held, until the times of the dictatorship of the colonels. This former role of the fortress as a political prison has been captured in cinema movies such as “Days of ‘36” and “the years of stone” that hymn the rebels who fought for their democratic ideas.
The fortress is characterized as a preserved monument and today it remains closed for the public. The only day you can visit the fortress is on the 14th and 15th of December. During these days, the temple of Saint Eleftherios is celebrated, which was built by the prisoners themselves.
Visit Hours: Dawn to Dusk