A simple tomb in the well-preserved Martinengo Bastion south of the city centre honours Nikos Kazantzakis (1883–1957), Crete’s most acclaimed 20th-century writer and author of Zorba the Greek. The famous epitaph on his grave reads: ‘I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free’.

Kazantzakis was buried in the former fortifications because the Greek Orthodox Church, which had threatened him with excommunication because of his critical and controversial writings about the church and religion, denied him a burial in a cemetery.