The Image and the City - The War for Candia previous_inactive 1/6 next

Defending Candia




In 1564 the Venetian ambassador Leonardo Contarini responded to the Hapsburg Emperor Maximilian, who was preoccupied by the rumours then predicting that the island was to be the victim of a Turkish assault with the famous words 'Venezia fortificherà' ('Venice will fortify its territories').

Two years earlier, in June of 1562 Giulio Savorgnan, a feudal nobleman from Patria del Friuli  and a man of arms serving the Republic, had arrived at Cyprus. This was the first stop in a journey which was to take over four years, in which he would visit all the fortresses of the Venetian maritime dominion, from the Aegean to Albania, and Dalmatia to Istria. The radical restructuring envisaged by Savorgnan for the fortress of Famagosta  (a port city with 8,000 inhabitants) to make it as 'impregnable' as was humanly possible, reveals the first sign of Venice's new regard for its fortified territories. This new interest would inevitably lead to the involvement of nearby Candia  as well as Corfù and other Ionian islands .

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Venezia e il mare
Le isole, le fortezze, le difese contro i Turchi
© 1997 by the VENIVA consortium