In 1538, Hajr an Dein, an admiral of the Ottoman fleet and a barbarian of the Algerian coast (Barbara), known to many as Barbarossa (Kokkinogenis), attacked the island to understand it. The Venetians were afraid and decided to fortify their conquest. A wall of 1,307 meters was built around the city, which today is almost destroyed, leaving the side to the sea exposed. In a subsequent attempt, the Turkish pirate Oludj Ali in 1562 easily conquered the city.
The Venetians expelled him and found their fault.
They chose a more suitable place and with a bigger view on the land and sea on the hill of "Paleokastro" and built there Fort Forza, which is preserved until today and characterizes the city of Rethymnon. They have been designed to provide adequate living conditions for the population. Thus it includes through its walls, barracks, church, hospital, warehouses and aqueduct.
On the hill of Paleokastro there was the acropolis of the ancient city of Rithymna and the sanctuary of Rocky Artemis, as evidenced by carvings found in various parts of the hill. The Rocka's definition is probably derived from the Latin "Rocca", which means a castle or fortress on a steep hill. In those times Rethymnon was a town that was independent in its own currency, but not particularly strong.
The construction required 107,142 Cretans, while 40,205 animals were used. Responsible for the realization of the plans was the first master G. Skordylis.
The Fortezza Fortress continues to today as a landmark of the Cretan city. Every summer - for 18 years - at the Erofili Theater in the Castle,
the Renaissance Renaissance Festival takes place. Theatrical performances (all the works of Cretan theater and a multitude of works by Shakespeare, Moliere, Goldoni and many other great creators) were presented during the Festival's course, musical, dance and visual events, highlighting the Cretan and European Renaissance. In addition, dance, painting exhibitions, lectures and cinema complement the framework of the festival's action.