Chania an independent, beautiful and exciting city

Greece

How can someone describe Chania? The narrow streets of the old town, its’ center, its’ quarters, the smell of the multicultureness throughout the centuries. Noone can conquer it completely.

How can someone describe Chania? The narrow streets of the old town, its’ center, its’ quarters, the smell of the multicultureness throughout the centuries. Noone can conquer it completely.

They always get away. The same happened with Arabs, Venetians, Turkish and Egyptians. They all passed through here, left their mark as a permanent stamp kai went away. As if there was once an International festival os architecture and cultural dexterity. Being a candidate for inclusion Unesco’s list of world heritage monuments, this makes them even more interesting.

In the old City of Chania, traffic revolves around the multiphotographed Venetian port, with it’s lighthouse, the gracious mosque og Ciucuc Hasan and the great Arsenali. Further in, lay the intertangled narrow streets of the old Christian quarters, the Hebrew and the Muslim (Splantzia) which retain the signs of the multicultural past of this city.

By the shore, on Akti Enoseos, the Venetian arsenals loom. The biggest one has been restructured and houses the Center of Architecture of the Mediterranean, which hosts interesting exhibitions throughout the year.

The authenticity of Chania is fortified in peoples’ hearts, because Chania are a place that knows how to live through its myths.

THE HISTORY OF THE CITY

 The area was inhabited in the Neolithic era. During the Minoan era, many towns boomed, like ancient Kydonia, which was where Chania are nowadays located.

Many conquerors have been here, and the ones that left their mark are the Venetians. After the Venetians, the Turkish came to Chania, which were relentlessly fought by the locals. During the entire period of Turkish domination, the entire prefecture of Chania was a vast battlefield. In 1913 the Greek flag was raised. A very important moment was the Cretes’ resistance during the 2nd World War, which began with the Battle of Crete (May 1941).   

TRACKING CULTURE AND HISTORY. ARCHEOLOGICAL MUSEUM

ΙΧΝΗΛΑΤΩΝΤΑΣ ΣΤΟΝ ΠΟΛΙΤΙΣΜΟ ΚΑΙ ΤΗΝ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΑ.

ΑΡΧΑΙΟΛΟΓΙΚΟ ΜΟΥΣΕΙΟ

Since 1963, in the impressive catholic section of the Franciscan monestary built in the 16th century, on Chalkidon str, with the impressive sharp-topped gothic domew, archeological findings of various parts of the prefecture are housed.

The presentation of the cultural heritage of the area is done thruough a series of exhibits dating from the Minoan era, the late Neolithic era, the Copper era and the times of the Iron era (1st century B.C.). A very important place is reserved for the three mosaic floors of the Roman era, decorated with scenes from the mythology, the marble statue of Diana but also the impressive collection of Hellenistic and Roman gold coins.

FOLKLORAL MUSEUM (CRETAN HOUSE)

Meet the folkloral heritage of Chania through a complete collection. The representation of agricultural and home affairs is done through human effigies, tools and products that decorated the village houses in the 18th and 19th century, giving you a vivid image of a “different” day to day life.

The initiative of Aspasia Bikaki and Eirini Koumandraki revives a forgotten way of life by giving life to a traditional cretan home. Follow their steps and discover the museum’s workshop, where copies of old weavings are made, and central paintings are created, depicting scenes of the local traditions and mores.

It is open every day, except for Sundays. From 09:00-15:00 and 18:00-21:00. Chalkidon 46b (Roman Church arcade), tel 28210-90816 Entrance 2 Euros.

 

BYZANTINE AND POST BYZANTINE COLLECTION.

 On the western side of the walls of Chania, inside the temple of the Venetian era, is situated the exhibition of the Metabyzantine collection Στη δυτική πλευρά των τειχών των Χανίων, εντός του καθολικού της βενετσιάνικης Μεταβυζαντινή Συλλογή. The tediously selected exhibits –due to the restriction of space- are extremely representative of the entire findings.

This way they are able to initiate you to the arts of the aforementioned periods, through mosaics, tombal inscriptions, wall paintings, images, ceramics, sculptures, coins etc.

WORKING HOURS Tuesday – Sunday 08:30-15:00

Entrance fee 2 Euros (admission for EU students is free)

NAVAL MUSEUM OF CRETE

 Separated in 2 parts, the second biggest museum of Greece “guards” the two edges of the Old Port.

The distinctive red building, that is the main part of the foundation, inside Firka Fortress, includes, in its’ two floors, around 2.500 exhibits, like ship miniatures, naval instruments, paintings and engravings, a collection of shells, a rare photographic file but also a wealth of materials from the Battle of Crete. The permanent exhibition of traditional and ancient ship building is presented in one of the two traditional ship yards, with the Minoan ship that in 2004 sailed an experimental trip from Chania to Piraeus being the center of attention.

Working hours: Everyday 09:00-16:00

Entrance fee 3 Euros (2 Euros for children and students)

Kountourioti shore, tel 28210 91875

PUBLIC GALLERY

At the start of Chalidon str., an exhibition space aims to be at the same time a point of “protection and preservation” of civilization. The Public Gallery first opened its’ gates in April 2002, and except for the periodic exhibitions of Greek and International artists, is a center of education.

Based mainly on pictorials, it expands on a borader spectrum of activities like engravings presenations, photography and publication of luxurious books of the participants.

It operates Monday-Friday 10:00-14:00 & 19:00-22:00, Saturday 10:00-14:00

Entrance fee depends on the exhibition. Chalidon 98-102 Tel 28210 92294 36190 92419

THE (7) SEVEN SPOTS YOU SHOULD NOT MISS!!!

VENETIAN LIGHTHOUSE “The symbol of Chania”

 The Egyptian Lighthouse is one of the oldest preserved and operational lighthouses in the world, and looms proudly over the old port. Although egyptian by name, in essence it is a creation of Venetians, who built it during the latter part of the 16th century.

In 1830-40 it was reconstructed by Egyptians, during a time when the British had given away Crete to the viceroy of Egypt, Muhammed Ali. Its’ beam reaches a distance of seven milew, and it stands 21 meters tall. It is described as having a special architectural style the world over, as its’ base has an octagonal shape, the middle part has 16 corners while the top is circular and has been described as looking like a minaret.

ACROPOLE OF CHANIA

 A small peninsula at the northern part of the city is Akrotiri. Here lay the Command center of the National Revolutin, the port of Souda, the airport, canyons and monasteries, farms and villas, beaches and hiking trails.

It begins with the tombs of the Venizelos family, especially Eleftherios, who has chosen this place himself for his entombment (a few kilometers from Chalepa). The view of the city from this spot is amazing!! Most of the beaches in Akrotiri have a Blue Flag eco-label, selecting the best three: Kalathas, Stavros and Marathi. We should remind you that Stavros is where the movie Zorbas has been shot. Finally, in Akrotiri there is the Gouvernetou Monastery, also known as the Monastery of Saint John the Hermit.

Built like an impenetrable medieval castle, it is one of the oldest monasteries in Crete, while the main temple is devoted to Mary.

PUBLIC MARKET

For its’ sake trenches were filles and bastions were demolished. Eleftherios Venizelos opened it in 1913, and it hasn’t closed a single day since. The 4.000 square meters of the sheltered Public Market of Chania –with 78 stores- are the heart of the commercial activity of Chania, offering yellowish rolls of graviera, spices, teas, honey, vegetables, fresh fish, local meat products and souvenirs.

Big octopi lay between the benches, olives rest in their oil and vegetables are fetched every morning from the villages. The competition is fierce, and the variety is immense. As always, the salesman with the loudest voice wins, he who will not be ashamed of chatting with you and treating you something! OBLIGATORY PURCHASE: Staka!

ARSENALIA – THE ARCADAL SHIPYARDS

Walking through the seaside taverns along the Old Port, a series of underground dome shaped buildings magnetise your eyes. These are the shipyards, or arsenalia, or tarsanades. Dome shaped arcades made of stone, next ot the sea, at the east of the port. Built by Venetians who ruled the seas, they were used for repairing or building ships. The first 17 stone-made buildings were founded in 1497. They were open to the sea, and were made of two parts, the east one with 5 shipyards –of which 2 remain, one being used as a part of the Naval Museum- and the north part, with 15 consecutive of which only 7 remain.

The last of them though was the most impressive, and its name affirms that. The big Arsenali, the only one standing west of the main compound, stands out from the rest. Even though construction was completed in 1600, its glorious journey started in 1872, when another floor was added to the existing building. What was until then the home of the Venetian flagship, housed the school of the Christian community, staged Theatrical presentations (since 1892), while during 1928-1941 it served as City Hall. During World War 2, the Nazi bombardments struck a big part of it, rendering it unusable for any further use. Much later, when the then newly founded Center of Architecture of the Mediterranean (CAM) looked for a suitable home, they decided to renovate it as a place to house a civil company, aiming to the display of the “Mediterranean” architecture. The gates opened on spring 2002, and the Big Arsenali regained its former glory as a multiplex of cultural affairs, conventions, seminars, workshops, exhibitions, concerts as well as small scale treatrics. The Big Arsenali is a classical monument, gracious and majestic, continuing its voyage through time.

31 Tompazi Coast

Katechaki square, Big Arsenali

Get informed about the cultural events of

www.kam-arsenali.gr

Telephone number 28210 40201

CHALEPA SUBURB

Chalepa street (known today as El. Venizelos Str), ran from the city to the luxurious suburb Chalepa. A resort for rich people of Chania, and also British, French and Italian dignitaries, the Chalepa suburb was a small slice of Europe.

Big gardens, stately houses, the consulates of the reigning forces, even the School of San Joseph, where nuns taught the female children of the rich people franch, piano and savoir vivre. Today many of those manors are preserved and have been renovated, retaining the feeling of the suburb.

We can see Eleftherios Venizelos’ house next to the old French School, and the church of Mary Magdalen, which was the Prince’s private church.

FIRKA FORTRESS

«ETERNAL SYMBOL »

The Firka Fortress, a symbol of the liberation of Crete, has been for centuries the silent guard of the Old Port of Chania. Despite its name, which in Turkish means “barracks”, the fortress was built in 1645 by the Venetians and was used for fortifying purposes, intended to protect the entrance to the port and to avert enemy ships from approaching, as well as a prison for Greeks who were sentenced to death.

After the revolution of 1898, and the independence of the island, this is where the island’s flag was raised, which was later replaced by the white and blue Greek flag, when the official merging of Crete and Greece was signed, in December 1st 1913. Nowadays, the building at its entrance houses the Naval Museum.

GIALI TZAMISI

The mosque of Ciucuc Hasan ,or Giali Tzamisi (mosque of the glass) stands intact on Tobazi shore. Apart from being a beautiful heritage from the period of Turkish rule, it is also an excellent display of renaissance islamic architecture.

The design is attributed to an Armenian architect, who was said to have constructed an exactly identical building at the province of Selino, on the southwest part of the island. It is decorated bu 6 small domes and a bigger one at the center, which is supported bu 4 outside stone arcs. In the past, its yard was full of palm trees and tombs of pashas and janissaries, as well as a small minaret, which was demolished in 1923 (according to thers in 1933). That year it ceased to operate as a mosque, nevertheless remaining “alive”. It housed the Archeological Museum of Chania, was used as storage, museum of folk art and National Tourism information office.

Today, having been renovated, it houses cultural events and various exhibitions.

LOCAL EVENTS

Events CRETE-LAND AND CULTURE on the beginning of September. Events whose purpose is to show off the cretan civilisation, the local products, and the participation in the coming together of residents.. http/www.anxa.gr

Saint Marina fair on July 17th.

The “chochlidovradia” (snail night) in April in the village of Vamos.

The chestnut fair in the end of October at the village of Elow, followed by a traditional festivities.

The fair of Saint Eftychios at Epanochori on August 24th.

The fair of the Cross at Tavronitis on September 14th.

FROM THE VENETIANS AND THE PORT TO THE TURKISH AND THEIR MONUMENTS

We begin with Giali Tzamisi, the mosque of the glass, on Tobazi shore, with the large round dome and the six smaller ones. It was built in honor of Ciucuc Hassan, who was the first commandant of Chania.

This mosque is a distinctive example os Islamic Art during the renaissance. Far away we can see the minaret on Hiugar Tzami in Splantzia. This was the central mosque of Chania, at a time when Chania was all red owing to the many turkish fez hats. On the square in front of the mosque is the underground fount built by the Turkish. Twenty six stone steps lead to three long and narrow chambers. They are constructed in such a way that the water overflows, ensuring their cleansing.

Apart from the turkish fount, on Splantzia square a Venetian tank was found, so big in size, that it could fulfill thw citys need in water for at least six months.

Map

 

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