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The Venetian Harbour

 
 

Turkish lighthouse in the Ventian HarbourThroughout the ages the harbour in Rethymnon has posed considerable difficulties for marine engineers.  The natural harbour has a narrow basin and consequently a tendency to silt up quickly.  In 1582 the Venetians started work to expand and fortify the existing harbour.  The seabed was frequently dredged and a harbour wall was built on the North East side.  Problems continued, however, and for a while engineers entertained the idea of moving the harbour further west, closer to the Fortezza.  The projected cost of this project, though, was too much of a deterrent to put this idea into practice.

The lighthouse dates to early Turkish times, but several repairs in the 19th century have altered some of the original features.

Most of the buildings in the harbour were also built during the Turkish period; although it is possible that some of the vaulted ground floor areas of the buildings might initially have been used as Venetian boat sheds.Venetian Harbour as seen from the lighthouse