The strategic position at which Chandax lay in the Mediterranean made it a frequent target of raids by those wishing to gain control of the wider area.

The fortifications around the Arab "Fortress of the Ditch", Byzantine Kastro and Venetian Candia reflect both the identity of the conquering powers and developments in warfare and fortification technology. At each stage the defences had to cater for the demands of what was a rapidly expanding city.

The enceinte and port at Candia, 1636 - 1638 (F. Basilicata, Vikelaia Municipal Library, Heraklion)