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306

GRANDEUR OF THE SCENERY.

like expanse, whilst, at the same time, it is itself overhung by a range of lofty mountains.

The scenery is very grand, and the bay as fine, perhaps, as any in the world, being capacious enough to contain the entire navy of Great Britain, and so situated as to be sheltered from every wind. It stretches inland six miles, and is about three miles across, but, at its mouth, the width is compressed to little more than a mile ; and, towards the centre of this narrow channel_but rather within the bay—are two low rocky islands, the larger of which, occupied by the little fortress of Suda, completely commands the entrance.

The bay opens to the east, but is screened, in that direction, by a high promontory, which, jutting some distance into the northern sea of Candia, serves as a breakwater to the harbour. To the north and south, the bay is sheltered by ranges of mountains, but from its western extremity a comparatively level country stretches all the way to Canea.

SITUATION OF CANEA.

307

The road is execrable during the first two miles of the descent, but, after passing a ruined castle, it improves; and, in three hours' time from Neo Horio, we reached the head of the Bay of Suda; from thence, over the level country to Canea, the road is very good, even admitting of the passage of carriages. The soil of the plain is light and sandy, and is covered with unpruned olive trees and scanty crops of corn.

It is abundantly watered, but the means of irrigation are totally neglected, so that stagnant pools have been formed along the courses of the streams, round which a rank vegetation has sprung up, rendering the tract extremely insalubrious. Numerous villages are scattered along the foot of the hills, bounding the plain to the south, but some distance from the road.

We came very suddenly upon Canea, which is sheltered to the east by a low hill, and is about twelve miles distant from Neo Horiofrom Retimo thirty-five miles. It stands on the site of the ancient Cydonia, but covers only a small portion of the ground occupied

308

THE FORTIFICATIONS.

by that city. Its present walls were constructed by the Venetians, but they are far inferior to those of Candia, both in regard to elevation and disposition. The general lines of the fortifications describe an irregular quadrilateral figure, of which the longest side is towards the sea; the three others present bastioned fronts, and are furnished with ditches and cavaliers; but, excepting the eastern curtain of the south front, are unprotected by any kind of outworks. There a small demi-lune serves as a couvre-porte to the only carriage entrance to the town. The walls are tolerably well covered, however, by the height of the counterscarps of the ditches, from the crest of which (for there is no covered way) the ground falls in a gentle slope towards the country. The walls are in a tolerable state of repair, and vary in height from twenty to thirty feet. The ditches have been converted into gardens and sheep-folds.

Towards the sea, the fortifications have in great part been demolished, and replaced by houses. The harbour is tolerably spacious;

ENTRANCE TO THE HARBOUR.

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it is formed by a long narrow mole, built on the prolongation of the western face of the north-east bastion of the town, and parallel to and extending nearly the whole length of the sea-wall. About midway on it are the remains of an old castle, which terminates in a circular tower, also in ruins; indeed the whole work is in a wretched state, and is indebted for its present existence to a ledge of sunken rocks, that serves both for a foundation and breakwater.

The entrance to the harbour is between the ruined tower and an elevated battery; the termination of the western fortifications of the town. The channel is deep but narrow, and quite open to the north; the anchorage is consequently exposed to a rolling sea, whenever the wind is from that quarter.

On the north side of the town, and overlooking the harbour, is a kind of citadel, evidently a work of much more remote date than any other portion of the fortifications. It covers a considerable extent of ground, and is slightly elevated above the rest of the

310

THE ANCIENT CITADEL.

place. Indeed, it may be regarded as an inner town, for it contains numerous and thickly populated streets; and is furnished with gates, to cut off the communication at pleasure with the rest of the fortress. It formerly contained the arsenal, docks, &c. The old Venetian galley-vaults are still in tolerable preservation, but the walls, battlements, &c. looking towards the harbour, are in a very bad state.

The harbour is much obstructed by the ruins of the mole and docks, but a few vessels of three hundred tons burden can still lie in its deepest part, which is, however, the most exposed; and there is sufficient

space

behind the mole to shelter two or three hundred small craft. The whole is about to undergo repairs and improvements.

The privileges enjoyed by the port of Candia under the dominion of the Turks having wisely been abolished, Canea, which, besides being the best harbour, is also that which lies nearest to the most fertile districts of the island, has naturally become its great com

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