Thursday, January 30, 2014

Balos Bay - Gramvousa, Crete, Greece:

Balos Bay - Gramvousa, Crete, Greece

Gramvousa also Grampousa refers to two small uninhabited islands off the coast of north-western Crete in the regional unit of Chania.They are administered from the municipality of Kissamos.Imeri Gramvousa, which translates to Tame Gramvousa, hosts the remains of a Venetian fort and the remains of buildings left behind by Cretan insurgents, who were compelled to live as pirates, during the Greek War of Independence. Today, Imeri Gramvousa is a popular tourist attraction.Agria Gramvousa, which translates to Wild Gramvousa, is much less hospitable and is located due north of Imeri Gramvousa.The fort at Imeri Gramvousa was built in 1579 during Venetian rule over Crete to defend the island from the Ottoman Turks. The fort remained in Venetian hands throughout the prolonged Cretan War, and in the treaty of 16 September 1669, which surrendered Crete to the Ottomans, Gramvousa, along with the fortresses of Souda and Spinalonga, was retained by Venice.These three forts defended Venetian trade routes and were also strategic bases in the event of a new Ottoman-Venetian war for Crete.On 6 December 1691, during the Morean War, the Neapolitan Captain de la Giocca betrayed the Venetians by surrendering Gramvousa to the Ottoman Turks for a generous bribe. He lived the rest of his life in Constantinople and was well known by the nickname "Captain Grambousas".Not long after the start of Turkish rule, Cretan insurgents used to gather at the three coastal forts which included Gramvousa.




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