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Spinalonga
Crete
Fortress
Greece
Hellas
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AGFA


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Island and fortress of Spinalonga, Crete

Island and fortress of Spinalonga, Crete
The Venetian cartographer Vincenzo Coronelli reports that Spinalonga was not always an island, but was once linked with the adjacent peninsula of Kolokitha. He mentions that in 1526, the Venetians cut down a portion of the peninsula and thus created the island. Because of its position the island was fortified from its earliest years in order to protect the entranceway of the port of Ancient Olous.
Olous, and accordingly the wider region, were depopulated at the middle of the 7th century because of the raids of the Arab pirates in the Mediterranean. Olous remained deserted until the middle of the 15th century when the Venetians begun to construct salt-pans in the shallow and salty waters of the gulf. Consequently, the region acquired commercial value and systematically became inhabited. This fact, in combination with the Turkish threat to use gunpowder for warlike purposes, particularly after the occupation of Constantinople in 1453, and the continuous pirate raids, forced the Venetians to fortify the island.
In 1578 the Venetians charged the engineer Genese Bressani to plan the island's fortifications. He created blockhouses at the highest points of the northern and southern side of the island, as well as a fortification ring along the coast of the island that closed out any hostile disembarkation. In 1579, the General Previsor of Crete Luca Michiel put the foundation stone of the fortifications. There are two inscriptions that cite this event: one on the transom of the main gate of the castle and the other on the base of the rampart at the north side of the castle. In 1584, the Venetians, realising that the coastal fortifications were easy to conquer by the enemies attacking from the vicinal hills, decided to strengthen their defence by constructing new fortifications at the top of the hill. The Venetian fire would thus have bigger throw, rendering Spinalonga an impregnable sea fortress, one of the most important in the Mediterranean basin.
In addition, in 1579 the Venetians built a fortress on Spinalonga over the ruins of an acropolis.
They kept control of the island until the Ottoman Empire took possession of it in 1715. The island was subsequently used as a leper colony, from 1903 to 1957. It is notable for being one of the last active leper colonies in Europe.
Wikipedia
JUL 1973 Film: AGFA (scanned)

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11 comments - The latest ones
Viola
Viola
Thank you for the explanaition. Very interesting!
8 years ago.
Demetrius Chryssikos has replied to Viola
THX Viola !!!
8 years ago.
Berny
Berny
interessante geschichte, ich liebe kreta, danke dir!
8 years ago.
Demetrius Chryssikos has replied to Berny
Danke Berny27 !! Grüße ;))
8 years ago.
Armando Taborda
Armando Taborda
...very interesting...Demetrius...
8 years ago.
Demetrius Chryssikos has replied to Armando Taborda
THX Armando !!!
8 years ago.
Jacky
Jacky
Ca ne faisait pas partie du programme de visite lors de mon voyage en Crète. Dommage.
8 years ago.
Demetrius Chryssikos
Demetrius Chryssikos
La prochaine fois Jacky !!!
8 years ago.
Christel Ehretsmann
Christel Ehretsmann
nice steps or scales
8 years ago.
Demetrius Chryssikos has replied to Christel Ehretsmann
THX Christel !!!
8 years ago.