At the entrance of the Venetian port in Heraklion, Venetian fortress Koules is one of the most photographed and famous monuments in the city. The Castello a Mare, "Sea Fortress" translated word for word, or Rocca a Mare (according to the Venetian name) is called Koules from the Turkish word Su Kulesi.
It was created in 1523-1540, where the previous fortress used to be which was severely damaged by the 1303 earthquake, in order to protect the city from enemy attacks, while in 1669 along with the rest of Crete, it fell to the Turks. In terms of architecture, it is divided into two sections, the southwest one (rectangular and at a higher level) and the northeast one (of elliptic shape and a bit lower), while there are three entrance gates, the main one being in the west part.
During the Ottoman rule, battlements were added to be used by riflemen and for canons, while right opposite Koules, Little Koules was built, which does not exist today.
According to ledgend, inside the fortress, Cretan rebels were tortured during the Revolution.