Kazarma Fortress

Sitia, Greece

The Kazarma Fortress in Sitia stands high above the town and is visible from the beach. It was built by the Venetians in the 13th century as the guard barracks, the Casa di Arma, a name corrupted to Kazarma. 

The Kazarma Fortress was the main defensive fortification of Sitia, but it was badly damaged by frequent pirate raids and invading forces. In 1303 it was partly destroyed by an earthquake which struck the area, and was rebuilt without regaining its former power.

In 1508 it was badly damaged by another major earthquake, while in 1538 Barbarossa invaded Sitia and destroyed most of the fortress. In the 16th century, the Venetians embarked on a programme of major fortification works across Crete.

When the Turks invaded Crete in 1645, the Venetian General Mocenigo decided that the fortress could not protect the city and withstand a siege, so he moved his men and equipment to Chandax (Heraklion) in 1651.

The Turkish army took the Kazarma Fortress and turned it into a fort, making major changes to the interior of the structure. The new fort was built at the base of the Venetian castle.

The Kazarma Fortress is open daily except Mondays, offering a stunning panoramic view of the town of Sitia.



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Neas Ionias, Sitia, Greece
See all sites in Sitia


Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Greece

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4.1/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Laura Porro (10 months ago)
It was closed in November 2022 due to lack of staff. The outside is nice.
h g (13 months ago)
We took a drive to Sitia, we had a quick look outside the Fortress as it was closed (plus the reviews) but weren't that impressed and would have been better off staying further up the coast. For someone not that interested it wasn't worth it but if you particularly like small fortresses I'm sure it's lovely and wouldn't want to put you off
andrei scheau (14 months ago)
There s literally nothing to see inside. View is better from the outside. 3 euro entry fee is not justified.
Julien B (15 months ago)
The fortress is laying bare (there is nothing inside except a few basic panels narrating the history of the place) but the walls are well preserved and the interior is pretty to look at thanks to some trees and flowers. The view from the keep is also quite beautiful.
Suzanne Ramsey (15 months ago)
Very interesting Venetian Fortress. Well worth a visit if you are in the area. Very historical and well maintained.
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