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The history and the archeological treasures in the harbour of Chania

Old Venetian Harbour Chania
Old Venetian Harbour of Chania

Chania is a blend of different cultures and natural landscapes, which will surely steal your heart at first sight! Romans, Byzantines, Saracens, Venetians and Turks passed from the city way before we did, made this multicultural evocative niche and left many modern-day treasures that testify to their presence.

The history of Chania goes back many years. The city of Chania was built by the Minoans on the ruins of Ancient Kydonia, which lies below some parts of today's modern city. In 67 BC the Romans conquered Crete and Kydonia, despite the fact that it was the first city to fight, it was unable to face the large Roman army.

The city continued to to grow under the Romans, yet none of the Roman monuments has survived. In 330 AD Crete was liberated by the Romans and annexed by the Byzantine Empire. Later, in 828 AD, the entire island of Crete -and therefore Chania- fell into the hands of Saracens Arabs, who razed the city to the ground. Kydonia was then renamed to Chania by the Arabs.

Chania was liberated in 961 AD when the Byzantines regained control of the island from the Arabs and rebuilt the city, fortifying Kastelli Hill with surrounding walls. In 1204 Crete was annexed to the Venetians. These conquerors brought great wealth to Chania, lending them the air of a large European city.

Old Venetian Port Chania

Then Chania fell into the hands of the Ottomans. From 1645 to 1912, Chania was under the Ottoman yoke, when in 1913, the Turks left for good, and Crete was united with the rest of Greece. During the Second World War, Chania got to know the German conquerors.

Throughout history, the peoples who passed through Chania managed to build a multicultural nook. Different mentalities, distinct cultures, diverse habits, customs and cultures, unique architectural styles and aesthetics blended and gave us the special city of Chania. Those who passed pitched in to make Chania an extraordinary place!

The legacy of the Venetians is especially significant. Their brilliant buildings adorn the city of Chania up to this very day! While being in Chania, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see and take shots of the port of Chania with its magnificent lighthouse, a trademark that dates back in that era.

Then, Yali Tzamisi (mosque of the seas), a jewel of Islamic art that was built n honor of the first Garrison commander of Chania Küçük Hasan, which operated as a Muslim church (mosque) until 1923 and today is a venue for various events. A bit further, Firka fortress dominates the opposite side of the old port. All these treasures make the city of Chania a living museum and impress the traveler with their beauty and their long history.

The picturesque setting is completed by the old town of Chania, the part of the city located within the Venetian walls, a stroll on which will transfer you to other eras and cultures.

The treasures of the past, the very history of Chania, as well as the natural beauty, make Chania a special city, ideal for spending your holidays in peace or for carrying out a variety of activities!