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Drosoulites of Frangokastello Castle

Have you ever seen a mirage? This one is so real that it has confused people for hundreds of years

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Frangokastello is one of the most visited places of the Crete island. It is popular for its unique architecture, the Venetian castle and fascinating legends. The castle of Frangokastello was built in 1371 right on the beach to protect the settlement from the pirates. It is mainly known for the battle with Turks in 1828. During this battle, 600 Greeks fought against an army of Turks, which counted over 8000 soldiers. The battle lasted for a week. In the end, Turks lost 800 soldiers, and 335 Greek warriors lay dead along with their leader. Their bodies stayed unburied until the high wind from the neighbouring beach of Orthi Ammos brought sand and covered them.

Since that horrible event every year around the anniversary of the battle a strange phenomenon appears near the castle. At the damp, in the morning mist, a mirage of walking human figures can be seen on the beach. The procession of men in black armour is walking, marching and riding from the ruined Church of Agios Charalambos to the castle. These are believed to be the spirits of the Greek soldiers. When they reach the sea, the vision disappears. It usually lasts for ten minutes or so and disappears with the first rays of the sun. Lots of locals have seen this vision and call it Drosoulites. This mirage is so real that in 1890 a Turkish army opened fire on the vision.

During the World War II, there was a similar situation when a German patrol shot at the Mirage procession. This phenomenon usually appears from the end of May till the beginning of June. It's not that easy to capture the mirage, so if you are lucky to witness it personally, let us know!

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