Frangokastello, located in the south west coast of Crete, is a beautiful Venetian castle that was built in 1371 as a garrison to impose order on the rebellious Sfakia region and to deter pirates.
The castle has a rectangular shape, with a tower at each corner and the remains of a Venetian coat of arms above the main gate. The buildings within the walls and the battlements were constructed during the Ottoman Turkish occupation.
The formidable fortress is a must-see attraction for the visitors of the beautiful island of Crete for many reasons, including its wonderful location and its historical value. However, the most important reason to visit this imposing castle is its connection with the fascinating legend of Drosoulites or “dew-men”.
According to local lore, Drosoulites is a long procession of visions, seen by residents around Frangokastello castle in Crete. The visions, as described by witnesses, are a a group of human-like shadows dressed in black, walking or riding, armed with weapons, moving from the monastery of Agios Charalambos and advancing towards Frangokastello.
Legend has it that this group of people are Greek fighters that died during the Battle of Frangokastello on May 17 1828 and since then they appear as supernatural beings in the area.
The phenomenon is visible every year, on the anniversary of the Battle of Frangokastello or even in early June near a small village in southern Crete.
The locals named the visions Drosoulites (“dew men”) due to the time of day that the phenomenon is taking place, i.e. when the sea is calm and the atmosphere is moist and before the sun goes too high up in the sky.