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Frangokastello

Frangokastello is in the area of Sfakia, on the south coast of west Crete, 13 kilometres east of Chora Sfakion, 82 kiliometers south of Chania town and west of Plakias. Frangokastello (castle of the Franks, Castel Franco or Franco Castello) took its name from the beautiful fortress the Venetians built in the shape of a rectangle, with a square tower on every corner right on the beach in 1371.


 

The castle is very well-preserved. The main gateway is on the south where the larger tower also is and is decorated by carved coats of arms of noble families set into the walls. Just above the entrance stands the winged lion of St. Mark, the emblem of the Republic of Venice. All along inside of the castle's walls there are rectangular buildings, which were used as barracks, stables, storerooms, kitchens, ovens, etc.

Inside the desserted fortress of Frangokastelo the light of sunset along with the mysterious atmosphere that is created, is simply unique. Frangokastelo is connected with one of the most beautiful legends of Crete. This is a phenomenon of reflection that is happening in days of calm the 2nd half of May. The morning hours have been observed on the horizon shadows of armed warriors and horse riders in black going through the gates of the castle and disappear... . The locals have named the phenomenon “Drosoulites” i.e. “Forms of the morning freshness”. According to tradition, the bodies from the battle of 1828 were not buried and every year on 18 May, the battle's anniversary, as the sun begins to rise slowly, the "Drosoulites" wake up.

Beaches in Frangokastello are truly beautiful. Visitors may choose between the beach right in front of the castle which is ideal for small children as water is shallow, the pebbly beach in the west of the castle and one extraordinary beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Crete approximately 300 meters east of the castle known as “Orthi Ammos” (“Standing Sand”), named after the sand dunes you have to walk down in order to reach the crystal clear water. Part of this beach is enjoyed by naturists.

 

(See also " Routes in Crete " & " Hotel Links & More " )