Admired as one of the most inspired and best-designed examples of fortification in the entire Mediterranean basin, the 16th and 17th century enceinte surrounding Venetian Candia has survived the ravages of time.

Triangular in shape, with its base at the sea, the mighty enceinte has a perimeter of about 5.5 kilometres. The hallmark of the defensive layout are the bastions, linked by curtain walls decorated at many points by escutcheons and the lion of St. Mark, symbol of Venetian omnipotence. The gates in the enceinte, which served to link the town to the countryside, still stand as important architectural monuments.

To this day, the walls that withstood the Ottoman siege in the mid-17th century mark out the boundary of the old town.

Masonry relief low in the Virgin Mary Zobenigo, Venice, showing the walls and main churches in Chandax, 1900 - 1905 (G. Gerola, Vikelaia Municipal Library, Heraklion)
Map by Giorgio Corner, 1625 (Giorgio Corner, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venice)