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Chania

Chania is one of the most beautiful cities of Crete and Greece. Built on the ruins of Ancient Kydonia, enchants visitors with the beauty and nobility of the incomparable natural environment and its monuments.

Chania Venetian Port Panoramic View / Ενετικό Λιμάνι Χανίων Πανοραμική άποψη

The city of Chania is divided into two main parts, the old town and the new. The old town is built around the Venetian harbor and surrounded by Venetian fortifications built in 1538 and today rescued only the east and west parts. The southern parts of the walls were destroyed in the early 20th century, to use their materials in the construction of the Central Market and various other public buildings. The new part of the town extends outside the walls.

chania, venetian port
chania venetian port

Old Town

The old town of Chania is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Mediterranean, although burned and bombed several times before. Travelers can see in various parts of the city samples of cultures that passed and left their mark.

The main attractions of the old city are:

  • Venetian harbor and the lighthouse which is one of the oldest lighthouses still preserved
  • Yali Tzamisi was old mosque and now has been restored and serves as event area.
  • The Great Arsenal formerly housed the town hall of Chania, while today houses the Centre of Mediterranean Architecture. Next to the Great Arsenal are the Venetian dockyards where were manufactured warships and now still working to repair ships and boats.
  • Splantzia Square and the Church of St. Nicholas. The square was the old quarter of the Muslims, with narrow streets and during the Turkish occupation the church of St. Nicholas was the main mosque of Chania.
  • Santirvani square with the small fountain, where the main streets of the old city intersect.
  • Chania Cathedral of Panagia Trimartyri (Virgin of the Three Martyrs) and its square
  • Etz Hayyim Synagogue, which is the only synagogue in Crete preserved and was restored in 1999.
  • Firka Fortress which formerly was the main Venetian barracks of the city due to its key location and today houses the Maritime Museum of Crete
  • The Gate of the sand (or Sabbionara, or Koum Kapi) is the North East and the only of the three gates of the second (outer) Venetian walls of Chania which is preserved till today.
  • Bastion Mocenigo, located in the sea, next to the Gate of the Sand (Sabbionara), its south side is decorated by an emblem with the lion of St. Mark, a coat of arms and the date 1591.
  • Neorio Moro is one of the three shipyards built in the 16th century and today hosts the Sailing Club of Chania. Neorio Moro houses the Minoan ship, exact copy with 17m. length and 4m width.