Χειμάρρας, Ρέθυμνο 741 00, Ελλάδα
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Category: Monuments

The Venetian fortress of Fortezza is built on the hill of Paleokastro, northwest of the town. The “Fortezza”, which is visible from almost any corner of the town, while offering panoramic view to the entire Rethymno and the western coastline, accumulates a centuries-long history.

The Fortezza, and in particular, the main East Gate, can be reached either through the alleys of the old town of Rethymno, or easier still, following the coastal avenue of M. Kefalogianni (see map, point 2) that begins behind the old Venetian harbour, by the municipal parking (1). The main Gate East (3) is a majestic arched gate leading to a long sheltered paved runway of stones smoothed over time. The inside of the paved runway is more uneven and rough, so it may be slightly difficult to cross with a wheelchair. There is also a souvenir shop that is not accessible to wheelchair users, as it has large steps at the entrance and two levels on the inside for which there is no access granted to wheelchair users. Within the fortress there are a number of buildings and sites that can be accessed through paved pathways with no steps or steep slopes hindering wheelchair movement. These are the Armory (4), the Erofili outdoor municipal theatre (6), the church of St. Catherine, the Episcope Palace, the Cathedral of St. Nicholas (Sultan Ibrahim Khan Mosque) (9), the residence of the Rector (10), the Council Building (11), the North Gate storage rooms complex (12), two gun powder stores (13 & 14), the twin building (15) and the holy church of St. Theodore of Τrihinas.

Past the gate, there are two public WCs and one accessible WC. There is a €0.50 entrance fee. The WC for disabled persons is difficult to access without assistance, as the coin mechanism has been installed too high (1.20m) and once the coin is inserted, the door needs to be pushed and opened in 5 seconds, before it gets locked again.