Must See in the City Center
Old Town of Chania
In Chania, in the old town with the beautiful Venetian port, the heart of the city of Chania and the Prefecture of Chania beats, during the summer.
Crowds of people, tourists and residents of Chania, people of all ages, come here and collect what the historic old town and the enchanting Venetian port has to offer.
Giali Tzamisi (Mosque)
It is the only one of the mosques of the city of Chania that survives today, which dates back to the second half of the 17th century. The mosque is located in the Venetian port of Chania. This Mosque in Chania, as it is called, is a shining example of the Islamic art of the Renaissance.
It was erected in honor of the first Chancellor of Chania, Kioutsuk Hassan. Today, the monument has been completely restored and functions as a venue for events and exhibitions during the main summer period, being one of the characteristic buildings of the old port of the city of Chania.
On the northwest side of the port city of Chania, the Venetians built the Revellino del Porto, a fortification capable of preventing any hostile danger to the port. Its construction began in 1610 and was completed a few years before the fall of the city to the Turks in 1645.
Internally, the space was designed with suitable buildings for barracks and ammunition depots. It was also the seat of the city’s military commander. In the middle of the courtyard there is a large vaulted tank that collected the rainwater of the roofs. On the north side of the fortress is the complex of six consecutive domes in which there were large cannons one in each dome, designed so that the fire of the cannons would cover the entrance of the port.
Lighthouse of Chania
The Egyptian Lighthouse, one of the oldest in the world, proudly dominates the old Port of Chania. The sealed, stone lighthouse that stands on the edge of the jetty, is not only the “guardian” of the old Venetian port, but also its most famous ornament.
The lighthouse was built by the Venetians at the end of the 16th century. In time, it was severely damaged and took more than 200 years to complete by 1830-40, when it was rebuilt by the Egyptians, at a time when the British had ceded Crete to Egypt’s regent, Mehmet Ali. Towards the end of Ottoman rule, the project was completed by adding the staircase to its east side, as well as pipelines through which seawater passes below the surface of its base. The lighthouse is 21 m high, with a hearth height of 26 m above sea level, while its light reaches a distance of 7 miles. Its base is octagonal, the middle part has 16 corners, while its top is circular.
Maritime Museum of Crete
At the entrance of the Firkas Fortress is the Maritime Museum of Crete. It was created in 1973 with the aim of preserving the maritime wealth and traditions of the island of Crete and promoting its naval history. The exhibition of the Maritime Museum of Crete includes more than 2500 exhibits including relics, paintings, objects found at the bottom, maps and more.
An important example of the Museum’s development is the creation of a permanent exhibition of Ancient and Traditional Shipbuilding with the main exhibit being a copy of an ancient merchant ship of the Minoan era.
The Mediterranean Architecture Center
It is the last to the west building of the 17-room complex. The construction of the building began in 1585 by the fortune teller Alvise Grimani. With the addition of the floor in 1872, during the Turkish occupation, a new era began for the Grand Arsenal.
The house hosted several important public functions. Today, from a once-in-a-lifetime ruin, it has been transformed into an impressive venue for events and exhibitions. It has been operating since 2002, after its renovation, as the Center for Mediterranean Architecture, hosting important cultural events, art exhibitions and international events, with a special emphasis on Architecture.
Trimartiri Cathedral Church
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Trimartyri), the Diocese of Chania, is located in the middle of Halidon Street in the old town.
It was built on the site of an older 14th century church. During the Turkish occupation, the Diocese of Chania was turned into a soap factory, and where the bell tower is today was the cauldron where the ingredients for the soap were boiled. However, in a warehouse inside the temple, the icon of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary was still kept and a candle was always lit in front of it, with the tolerance of the Turkish Pasha, commander of Chania.
Tombs of the Venizelos
Tombs of Venizelos are located a few kilometers east of the city, on the way to Akrotiri and the airport. Here are the graves of the charismatic Greek politician – and seven times prime minister of Greece – Eleftherios Venizelos and his son Sophocles Venizelos, who also served as prime minister of Greece from 1943 to 1952.
At this same point is the small church of Prophet Elias and the statue of Spyros Kayialedakis or Kagiale, which on February 9, 1897 (Revolution of 1897), at the time of the great bombardment of the rebel Cretans by the fleet of the Great Powers, he made the body as a flg-pole to raise the Greek flag that the ship’s shells had thrown to the ground.
Kum Kapi Beach is the beach of the seaside district located outside the eastern walls of the old town of Chania. It is one of the most touristic areas and attracts thousands of visitors who visit it mainly for walks, food and drink. The sandy beach of Kum Kapi, about one kilometer long, is located east of the main sidewalk of the port.
Kum Kapi Beach used to be the most popular beach for swimming. However, due to sea pollution, swimming was banned a few years ago.