Chania is the second largest city in Crete and is located 70 km from Rethymnon and 145 km from Heraklion. Its population is about 60,000 and is a major economic, cultural and tourist center for the whole island. Archaeological excavations have proven is has been hosting human activity since the Neolithic era, and then the first settlements developed in ancient Kydonia, a particularly important Minoan city.
The city flourished during the Greco-Roman and Byzantine period, and then, following the decline of the Byzantine Empire, it fell into the hands of the Genoese of the Venetians and the Turks. In 1898 it was freed from the occupation of the Turks and was proclaimed independent along with the rest of Crete. After efforts of the great Greek political Eleftherios Venizelos in 1913, Chania became part of the Greek territory after the union with Greece was achieved. You can reach the city via the frequent ferry services that connect it to the mainland of Greece or alternatively via the airport that operates many services.
Chania top ATTRACTIONS
Archaeological Museum of Chania
The Archaeological Museum of Chania is in the former Venetian monastery of Agios Frangiskos at 28 Chalidon Str. It started its operation in 1962. The date it was built is unknown, but it seems to have survived the great earthquake of 1595 and at the time it was the largest building in the city. During the Ottoman era, the building was used as a mosque and had the name of the conqueror of Chania Yussuf Pasha. At the end of the 20th century its use was changed and it became a cinema. During the Second World War it was used as a warehouse for military equipment. Today, the new Museum of Chania is being built – covering 6,500 sq.m. – in the historic area of Halepa near the sea.
Old Harbor & Old Town of Chania
The old town of Chania is located next to the old harbor of the city. In the past, the old city was surrounded by Venetian walls, now only some parts on the left and right have been preserved, but not on the south. Most of the buildings in the area are old but are in good condition, the narrow streets are small and picturesque, so the old town is the ideal setting for endless walks. Especially the old Venetian harbor is an oasis of beauty. There you will find small shops to buy your souvenirs, cafes and many taverns to enjoy your nights in an idyllic setting.
Municipal Art Gallery of Chania
The Municipal Gallery of Chania signifies the effort of the city authorities to create a space for the protection of local culture. It is housed in a three-storey building of 1910 and has been for many decades the dream of many Ghanaians. Since its establishment, there have been presented 21 exhibitions with pieces by recognized artists, while at the same time it has made some important publications. All major exhibitions of the Municipal Gallery of Chania are accompanied by parallel exhibitions and educational programs for both children and adults.
Tombs of Venizelos
The tombs of the two Venizelos are located a few kilometers outside the eastern side of the city, on the way to the airport. There are the graves of Eleftherios Venizelos and his son Sophocles Venizelos, Prime Minister of Greece from 1943 to 1952.
Eleftherios Venizelos was one of the most charismatic leaders of Greece and is considered the creator of modern Greece. At the same place there is the statue of the hero Spyros Kayaladakis or Kayale who made his body a pole to keep up the Greek flag during a bombing of the rebellious Cretans by the foreign “Great Powers” who did not want the union of Crete with Hellas. From the hill where the tombs are located, the view to the city of Chania is truly magical. An ideal place to enjoy your coffee or your drink is the well-known café “Owl”.
Chania Town Market
The municipal market is built in the area of the southern walls of the city, where the Venetian fortress Piatta forma was. It is a huge building of 4,000 sq.m., in an area of 17,200 sq.m. in the heart of the city. The market was completed in the second half of 1913 and began to operate unofficially on 1/11/1913. The official inauguration was made by the Prime Minister of Greece at the time El. Venizelos on 4 December 1913, three days after the official ceremony of the Union of Crete with Greece. The municipal market of Chania is not only a center of great business activity, but also an image of the Agora as it was in Ancient Greece. In 1980, it was characterized by the Ministry of Culture as a protected monument.