Koules Heraklion (Castello del Molo) Venetian Fortress

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Koules HeraklionVenetian fortress – Castello del Molo

Welcome to the historic centre of Heraklion. The Koules Fortress is impressive. It watches over the old harbor. This beautiful building is also called the “Castello del Molo.” It’s a reminder of Crete’s long past. It shows how important the island has been in history.

The Venetians built Koules in the early 1600s. It has been through many wars and has stood the test of time. They come from all over the world to explore its walls. They also come to see the stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.

We will talk about the history, design, and lasting effects of Koules Heraklion. It is a famous building that is more than just a fortress. It is also a way to enter Crete’s rich history.




There is a lot of information on the history of the castle on the ground level, including cannons and amphorae that Jacques Costeau found while diving in the area. Koules Venetian fortress Heraklion castello del molo.

The view from the top floor is spectacular.



A Venetian coastal stronghold located near the ancient harbour’s entrance.

It was erected by the Venetians to guard the pier and port prior to the construction of the new Venetian fortress. It was last built between 1523 and 1540 to replace another structure wrecked by an earthquake.

Castel di Candia / da Marco Boschini Boschini, Marco (1613-1678). Cartographe

Marco Boschini (1602–1681) was an Italian painter and engraver of the early Baroque period in Venice.

He was born in Venice and received his education at the school of Palma il Giovane.

He wrote many publications. These include: La Carta del Navegar pittoresco (1660). It is a poem that praises Venetian painting. Also, there are Le minere della pittura veneziana (1664) and Le ricche minere della pittura veneziana (1674). They are two city guides of Venice.

I gioieli pittoreschi. Virtuoso ornamento della città di Vicenza (1676), a city guide of Vicenza.




It has been regularly restored as a result of the sea’s powerful waves, which have always caused damage to its masonry and foundation.

It was constructed of large stone blocks and had two storeys.




26 rooms on the ground floor were used to lodge captains or store food and munitions.


Koules Venetian fortress Heraklion castello del molo

Koules Venetian fortress Heraklion

There are battlements on the top floor for mounting canons.


Koules Venetian fortress Heraklion castello del molo

Koules Venetian fortress Heraklion

Turkish alterations include the higher sections of the castle and the present foundation of the minaret.


Koules Venetian fortress Heraklion castelo del molo

Koules Venetian fortress Heraklion

Relief plates with the lion of St. Mark, Venice’s emblem, stand out on the outside of the castle’s major sides.


Koules Venetian fortress Heraklion

Koules Heraklion

During the Turkish occupation, the Turks tortured and imprisoned Cretan insurgents in the castle’s gloomy and damp chambers.


Koules Venetian fortress Heraklion


Today, the castle is available to the public and, during the summer, it is utilized for a variety of cultural activities (art exhibitions, music, theatre).


Koules Venetian fortress Heraklion


Koules Heraklion OPENING HOURS:

  • 15/5-31/8: Wednesday-Monday 08.00-20.00
  • 1/9-15/9: Wednesday-Monday 08.00-19.30


  • 16/9-30/9: Wednesday-Monday 08.00-19.00
  • 1/10-15/10: Wednesday-Monday 08.00-18.30


  • 16/10-31/10: Wednesday-Monday 08.00-18.00
  • 1/11-31/3: Wednesday-Monday 08.30-15.30, closed on 25-26/12, 1/1, 25/3
  • 1/4-15/6: Wednesday-Monday 08.30-16.30

Closed on Tuesdays. Last admission: 20 minutes prior to closing time
Precautions applied for the spread of COVID 19.
The use of a thermometer and of a mask is mandatory to enter the site.

Koules Heraklion Ticket prices:

  • 4 euro, Reduced 2 euro link



Koules Heraklion ACCESS:

  • The Museum sits at the NW pier with an entrance from “18 Agglon” square in the Venetian harbor.

  • To access the upper floor – priority entrance, people with disabilities must use a wheelchair. They need it to use the lift.

book your visit Click HERE koules.efah.gr


There are several things to do near the Koules Heraklion in Crete:

  1. Explore the old town of Heraklion. The fortress is in the heart of the old town. There you can wander the narrow streets. You can admire the old architecture.

  2. Visit the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. It is just a few minutes’ walk from the fortress. The museum holds an impressive collection. It has Minoan artifacts and other ancient Greek treasures.

  3. Take a stroll along the city’s waterfront. The fortress is there. You can walk along the promenade and enjoy the views of the sea and the boats in the port.

  4. Visit the Heraklion Cathedral. It is near the fortress. It is worth a visit to see its impressive frescoes and other religious art.

  5. Take a day trip to Knossos Palace. The old palace is near Heraklion and is a must-see for history and archaeology fans.

  6. Enjoy the local cuisine. People know Heraklion for its tasty traditional food. The old town has many restaurants and tavernas. There, you can try some of the local specialties.


See also:

Master Castle List 234 Castles and counting wandererscompass.com

Palace of Knossos 

Castello del Molo (Koules) tripadvisor

Koules Fortress wikipedia

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