Intzedin Fortress in Chania Prefecture in Crete is a notable national monument, as well as a symbol of democracy and freedom, which is abandoned by the officials and the State. Today, the Municipality of Souda in Chania is resuming its efforts to convince the state to pay the needed attention to this landmark of the Cretan land.
Intzedin Fortress – A Short History
Intzedin Fortress is situated between Kalyves and Souda; it was built in 1872 and was named after the first born son of the Sultan Abdul Aziz Intzedin. Along with the fortress of Souda and Palaikastro, Intzedin was one of the most important fortresses in the region, defending the natural harbour of the island, Souda.
Later on, it was used as a prison for political detainees and convicted to death for transgressing the laws. During the Cretan State (1903) El. Venizelos himself was imprisoned for 15 days, while later during the dictatorship of Pangalos, many political enemies where kept imprisoned, while during the German occupation no one was imprisoned there.
Intzedin worked again as prison towards the end of the civil war, hosting the first communist detainees, regaining its role as prison for dissidents who were persecuted for their political believes. This role inspired two movies later on: “The days of 36” and the “Stone Years” (Petrina Hronia) refer to the Intzedin Prison.
This summer, hundreds of Chania Residents had the chance to enjoy a lovely concert within the premises of Intzedin in Souda, with the participation of Thanos Mikroutsikos, the great Greek composer, and two great singers, Miltiadis Paschalidis and Rita Antonopoulou.
Among the attendants were old detainees and fighters for the democracy who experienced tragic moments and tortures during the Greek Junta (1967-1974). The event was organized by Souda Municipality in order to denote the need to preserve a landmark of the cultural heritage of Crete which remains ruined, a victim of the indifference of the officials.
Intzedin could become a museum of modern history, or a cultural and international convention centre; officials can find a way to utilize it in a totally respectful towards its history way that would abide by the historical facts and the overall features, meeting the needs of the Chania Prefecture. So far there have been no efforts to conserve and preserve the fortress, which is falling into ruins. The building needs to maintained and restored, as do all side areas, which also need to be protected from arbitrary building and constructions.
Souda Municipality for the Protection of the Intzedin Fortress
Souda Municipality has already contacted the pertinent service of the Greek State in order to achieve the signing of a decree that would discharge it to the Municipality to preserve and use Intzedin Fortress.
The officials from the Municipality have asked the Minister of Internal Affairs, to include the preservation works of the Fortress to the Program called Theseus, funded by the EU; the estimated cost is 300,000 Euros. The Municipality will also seek for additional sources of income to deal with the rest of the expenses.
The Municipality of Souda is also seeking for supporters in this effort, both individuals and officials. It has already addressed the President of the Greek Republic and to several members of the Parliament, and has started a petition, collecting signatures from individuals.
The prominence and designation of the historical value of Intzedin Fortress is required, because it is part of the cultural and historical heritage of Crete. Everyone should participate and support the efforts to conserve this building. Intzedin is fighting a noble fight against time and needs allies and helpers in its efforts.