Palaces, Villas and Castles

Sfakia in Crete: Frangokastello (or Frangocastello)

Frangokastello (or Frangocastello) is in the area of Sfakia, on the south coast of west Crete, 13 kilometres east of Chora Sfakion and west of Plakias. Frangokastello is a small seaside village with a few houses.It is famous for its Venetian castle of the same name, which is preserved in very good condition. The castle was built by the Venetians in 1371-74 as a garrison to impose order on the rebellious Sfakia region, to deter pirates, and to protect Venetian nobles and their properties. The Venetians named it the Castle of St. Nikitas after the nearby church. The locals, however, who never saw it in a positive light, contemptuously dubbed it Frangokastello, meaning the Castle of the Franks (i.e. Catholic foreigners), Castelfranco or Franco Castello.

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