Foscolo’s Residence (Fortress) and Wine Presses Verified

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Kenourgio Chorio is located 18km east of Heraklion and is a traditional settlement whose inhabitants cultivate mainly vineyards and of course olive trees.

During the last years of Venetian rule in Crete, there was a suzerainty of the Venetian family Foscolo. At this place, it survives the fortress-residence of Andrea Foscolo (of the Marcantoni – Foscolo family) until now. Part of this residence was probably demolished due to an earthquake in 1926, according to locals.

Its construction was completed before 1600 AD and although it has partially collapsed, the ground floor is almost intact in which the impressive arches and domes are visible. Moreover, the reconstruction happened during the Ottoman domination is visible.

North of the village, there are Venetian presses (wine presses) belonging to the category of presses which are covered with lid. They were property of the feudal lords, who did not allow the locals to construct other presses in order to force locals to give their grapes to them and as a result the feudal lords took a part of the must of grapes. The wine presses consist of three-stone built pieces of wine press with three fulcrums, one for each press. The façade of each press has a large arched window through which workers get in and out of the presses.

In the party walls, there are rectangular windows to facilitate the communication among the workers. On the northern and southern outer wall there are small air vents and thus the grapes were aerated.

The wine presses are built in such a way, so their eastern part is at the same level with the ground and the ramps from which they emptied the grapes into the three presses were visible. The stone-built base of the press was also found and preserved in the area.