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Altitude 375m.

On the hill to the east of Meleses village in the Prefecture of Heraklion there are what little ruins are left of a Byzantine castle that was quite possibly used by the Venetians.

This is the location where Castello del Botto is believe to have stood, the castle mentioned in the census by the Castle guard, with 37 residents in 1583.

There is a fortress at Meleses Castello which is mentioned in Basilicata’s map. He refers to it by the name Castel del Cornaro. The same map is mentioned by G. Gerola, preserving the name of the fortress. He adds another name for the fort, Castel del Betto, which he found in other lists of Cretan villages. He immediately notes that we do not know the exact location of these two places. In his description he names it medieval (mediovale). S. Spanakis repeats the information of Stephanus of Byzantium, that half a mile to the east of Meleses (the exact position of the Castello in relation to the village) lay “the ruins of a village, called Kastelos with the ruins of two churches”. 

Within the fortress there are tanks and a ruined church of the Virgin Mary, walls belonging to residences, and a water fountain bearing the date 1594.

It is rare to see two grand medieval fortresses at such short distance from each other (Castello of Meleses – Castello of Katalagari). In the broader region of Meleses residential and cemetery remnants of the Late Minoan era have also been located.

Also in Meleses, in the Patitiria or Patitiraki [stomping vats] location, part of a domed stomping vat chamber has been preserved.

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