The Fortezza is the Venetian fortress of Rethymnon situated closed to the centre of the old town. The Venetian Fortezza, with its hidden centuries of history, is built on a hill called Paleokastro (meaning “Old Castle”), which was the site of ancient Rhithymna’s acropolis.
Between the 10th and 13th centuries, the Byzantines established a fortified settlement to the east of the hill, called Castrum Rethemi.
Later on, the Fortezza fortress was built between 1573-1580 by the Venetians in order to protect the citizens from the Turkish threat. It is shaped like a star and it has three gates and six ramparts.
The interior of the fortress accommodated basic buildings like the storeroom of the artillery, where canons and weapons were kept, the residence of the Councilors, where one of the city’s two Venetian councilors lived, the residence of the Rector, which represented a luxurious, magnificent building in the central square of the fortress.
Nowadays, the fortress hosts various exhibitions like the Erofili Theatre where concerts and theatrical plays are hosted during the Rethymnon Renaissance Festival.