Fortress of Sfakia

The fortress of Sfakia is located on the eastern edge of Chora Sfakion. It was built by the Venetians in the 15th-16th century on a pre-existing Byzantine “frouridio”, which means small fortress.  It was very small, with only one tower, and the sentry stationed there consisted of 15 men. Capulet was their leader.

Various legends and stories are linked to the fortress of Sfakia, such as the story of “Chrissomallousa”, the girl with the blond (the golden) hair. Once upon a time, as the story tells us, the officer of the fortress of Sfakia met at the fountain of the village, a blond girl, and charmed by her beauty, he kissed her. The young girl felt insulted, hit him in the face and then the commander cut off her hair with his sword! The relatives of the girl, after being informed of the incident, went immediately to the fortress and killed Capulet and the entire sentry. A war between the Venetians and the Sfakians began and it is said that the Byzantine Emperor Andronikos was secretly helping the locals.

During the Ottoman rule, the invaders tried to renovate the fortress of Sfakia, but the locals did not let them. Whenever a part of it was built, the Sfakians tore it down, and today only ruins are left in the small pine forest of the hill.

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