Elena Venizelou Stadium
Places near Elena Venizelou Stadium
The Municipal Market of Chania is located in the centre of the city and is an iconic building of Chania. With its 4,000 sq.m. this is one of the most important buildings of its kind in the Balkans. Since 1980 it has been declared as a protected monument.
In this place there was once the main venetian bastion, Piatta Forma, which was the entrance to the city. Like today, until the early 20th century took place here an outdoor street market of the villagers of the surrounding area. In 1908 by decision of the Municipal Authority began plans to create a building that would house the market, and would give the city a more organized image. The construction of the building began in 1911, with plans to the standards of the Marseilles market, influenced by the architecture of the industrial revolution, and was completed in 1913 where it was inaugurated on 4 December 1913, three days after the union of Crete with Greece, by the Prime Minister, Eleftherios Venizelos.
The building consists of four wings with separate entrances, and joined together forming a cross shape in plan of the building. Inside of it are housed 76 shops consisting of butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers, a pharmacy and several shops with souvenirs.
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It is located in the internal part of north-westernside of the fortification walls that was renamed to Monastery of Saint Salvatore. The exhibition is focused on the historical and artistic identity of region of Chania during the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine period.
The exhibits have been separated in units according to their category (Mosaics, Signs, murals, ceramic, sculptures, coins etc.) and are placed in chronological order, accompanied by information tables and maps.
Giali Tzamisi is the unique preserved Mosque of the city and was built during the second half of the 17th century. It is located at the Venetian Port of Chania. The Mosque Kioutsouk (meaning "little") Hassan or Giali Tzamisi (meaning, the Mosque of the Seaside), as it is commonly known, is a unique sample of islamic art of Renaissance.
It was built to honour the first Sergeant of Chania, Kioutsouk Hassan. Nowadays, the Mosque has been totally renovated and is used as a place for events and exhibitions mainly during the summer period, constituting one of the charakteristic buildings of the old port of Chania.
The prefecture of Chania covers the western section of the island. The prefecture is known as beautiful and mostly unspoilt part of the island. It has an area of 2,376 square km and approximately 134,000 residents, the second largest population in Crete, after Heraklion. Chania is subdivided into five provinces: Kydonia, Kissamos, Apokoronas, Selino, and Sfakia. The main cities of the prefecture are Chania, the capital, and Kastelli in Kissamos. The main towns are Paleohora and Kandanos in Selino, and Hora Sfakion in Sfakia. The prefecture of Chania offers a wide variety of tourist services and activities of all classes and types. The city of Chania has also maintained characteristics of the Venetian era. The Lefka Ori rise behind Chania and drop to the Libyan Sea in Sfakia and contain many gorges and canyons for the nature or hiking enthusiast. The sandy beaches and clear waters of Falasarna, Paleohora and Georgioupolis offer pleasant swims. The Minoan, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian and Turkish archaeological sites attract those seeking cultural and historical information. The province of Kissamos in the northwest of the prefecture of Chania lies between the two peninsulas of western Crete. It extends west to the sea and south to Elafonisi Island. Kastelli is the main city of this area. The city has a variety of tourist services. On the coastal road from Kastelli to Elafonisi Island you can see the wild beauty of western Crete. The beaches at Elafonisi, Falasarna, and Gramvousa are among the finest in Crete. The many Byzantine and Venetian churches, as well as the ancient cities of Polirinia and Falasarna, may be of interest to tourists. The peninsulas of Gramvousa and Spatha are mostly inaccessible by car. Hikers can enjoy some parts. The province of Sfakia occupies the southeast area of the prefecture of Chania. The Lefka Ori cover most of the area. The province includes the plateaus of Krapi, Askifou, Niatos, Anopolis, Aradena, and Kalikratis. Sfakia has the highest peaks of the Lefka Ori: Pahnes (2,450m); Kastro (2,218m), and Troharis (2,409m). This wild terrain is one of the most impressive in Crete. The visitor may enjoy the panoramic view going from Chania to Sfakia by road. Very impressive also is the Samaria Gorge excursion and the subsequent boat trip to Hora Sfakion. There are many interesting things for a visitor in the area of Sfakia. The beaches near Loutro, Agia Roumeli, and Frangokastello offer the clear waters of the Libyan Sea. The Byzantine churches of Agios Pavlos (in Agia Roumeli), Michael Archangelos (Aradena), Agii Apostoli (Hora Sfakion), and the Panagia Thymiani and Agios Georgios (Komitades) are of cultural interest. The ravines and gorges through Samaria, Aradena, Imbros, and Kalikratis afford excellent hiking opportunities. The mountain hike to the refuge and plateau at Niatos, 1,500 metres above Askifou, may interest the visitor. With more than 40 peaks above 2,000 metres, the Lefka Ori offer numerous superb hiking possibilities. The province of Selino is in the southwest part of Crete. It borders the Libyan Sea and the south side of the Lefka Ori. The two major towns are the capital, Kandanos, and Paleohora on the south coast. The name of Selino is derived from the Venetian castle, Selino, in Paleohora. Near Kandanos there are many interesting Byzantine churches. The town of Chania, which is also the prefecture's capital, has obtained a great reputation throughout history. Walking on narrow streets of the Old Town you taste the historical atmosphere, meeting the ornaments of Chania, the Venetian harbour and castle . The old town is also the centre of night life. While visiting Chania, you have the chance to visit many archaeological sites which still bring memories of the foreign occupation. Arabs, Venetians and Turks left their marks in the town of Chania. You will be really enchanted by its picturesque houses, churches and its special architecture. Furthermore, the prefecture of Chania has the greatest beaches in Crete! Sandy beaches getting wet by the crystal light-blue waters of Libyan Sea creating an unforgettable landscape. The islets and the mountainous villages give an exotic image to this part of Crete! If you love unspoiled beautiful nature, you should visit the famous Samaria gorge or the steep mountains of Chania, called White Mountains . Chania is the ideal vacations destination. Luxury hotels, villas or apartments are waiting for you so as to experience what you will never forget!
East of Splatzia Square of the old city of Chania is located the church of Agios Nikolaos, which was built before 1320, during the Venetian Period, as monastery of Dominican Order. During the Venetian period it constituted the most important church of the city.
It was elegant and big in capacity, with wide arches in the interior. After the predominance of Turks in Chania the temple was turned into mosque and was named Hiougkar Tzamisi (mosque of the Emperor), in honour of the sultan of Ottoman Empire, Imbraim.
Its importance is highlighted by the existence of two- instead of one- balconies on the minaret. In 1928, after being seized by the Christians orthodoxe, the mosque was turned into a christian church and has been dedicated to Agios Nikolaos.
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The Egyptian Lighthouse, which is one of the oldest in the world, prevails in the old Port of Chania. The sea-tossed stone lighthouse that is located at the edge of the breakwater, is not only the “guard” of the old Venetian port, but also its most famous jewel.
The lighthouse was constructed by the Venetians at the end of 16th century. It has been reconstructed by the Egyptians during the period 1830-40, when English had assigned Crete to the regent of Egypt, Mehmet Ali. At the end of the Ottoman empire, the project had been completed with the addition of the ladder in its east side, as well as pipes, through which passes sea water under the surface of its base. The lighthouse has a hight of 21m, height from sea surface 26m and its light reaches a distance of 7 miles. Its base is oktagonal, the middle part has 16 angles, while the top part is circular.
Along the famous waterfront there are built numerous cafes, bars and a few traditional tavernas with wonderful views to the sea and a part of the Venetian Walls. The locals usually prefer this part of the waterfront to have a coffee in the evening or a first drink during the night.
The history of Kum Kapi starts during the last years of the Turkish occupation when the Arabs grew "Halikoutes", a small village, near a sandy beach and next to the Venetian fortifications. This district was called in Turkish "Kum Kapisi" (meaning Gate of the Sand) because of the Venetian Gate built there.
If you want to have a coffee in the Kum Kapi waterfront you can try the following cafe-bars; Elliniko at the start, Thema at the centre, Il Nostro at the end, and the rock-cafe Other Side near the end. There are also many choices for food like the first two restaurants at the start of the waterfront (O Aswtos Yios, Diachroniko) or the restaurant next to the Thema.
The area of Kum Kapi is quite near the old Venetian Town so that you can walk to get from the one place to the other. While walking , if you follow the seafront, you will meet more seafood restaurants (try the Dinos Restaurant) and cafes (try the Dio Lux).
The clock tower of the city is located on the north-east part of the Municipal Garden. Its construction started in 1924 and ended in 1927 and constitutes one of the most remarkable buildings of the City of Chania.
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The Nautical Museum of Crete is located at the entrance of the historical fortress "Firka". It was founded in 1973 in order to promote the nautical traditions and history of the island. The Museum cooperates and interacts with other Nautical Museums in Greece and abroad.
The permanent exhibition includes 2.500 items, such as relics, objects found in the bottom of the sea, paintings, maps, photographs, models of ships, nautical equipment etc. The exhibits are organized in units, in chronological order from the Copper Age until today. There is also a special exhibition of sea environment, with a rich collection of shells from different places of the world.
An important development step for the Nautical Museum is the creation of a permanent exhibition of ancient and traditional shipbuilding. The main exhibit of the museum is the reconstructed Minoan ship “Minoa” an experimantal model, faithful copy of the original ancient commercial ship. Other exhibits are the tools and the materials that were used for its manufacture, some photographs and a map of its experimental travel.
The fortress Revellino del Porto on the northwest side of the port of Chania was constructed by Venetians to prevent any enemy danger for the port. Its construction began in 1610 and completed a few years before the fall of the city in Turks in 1645.
The interior was organized to barracks and ammunition storage areas. It was also the headquarters of the Army Commander of the city. In about the middle of the courtyard, there is a large domed water tank that gathered rain water from the roofs. On the northern side of the wall there are six arched openings that included cannons for the protection of the entrance of the harbour.
During the Turkish period Revellino was used as barrack (Firka = barrack), for that reason the name Firka is still used today. The arched openings were used as prisons from the Turkish period to the civil war. On the corner watch tower of the Fortress the Greek flag of the Unification of Crete was raised on December 1st 1913 in an official ceremony. Today, at the entrance of the Fortress is situated the Maritime Museum of Crete.
During the Venetian and Turkish period, Chania presented a high development in commerce and marine mercantile. Not only in imports but also the export of various products was notable, despite the lack of a large and safe port. Since this time, it was common knowledge that the port of Chania was vulnerable due to the weather conditions and for this reason it was not considered an appropriate port. The natural port of Souda, on the other hand, was in a much better position and was perfect for a port. After the occupation of the city by the Genoans, the need for the construction of a port was once again highlighted, and the local authorities started the construction works during the Venetian period. In 1302, the request was submitted to the government by the Rector Marino Gradenigo and was finally accepted.The first phase of the construction of the port was between 1320 and 1356. However, during this time it was once again realized that the natural condition and morphology of the port was inappropriate, as the port was overall small in size and shallow, it was vulnerable to north and west winds, and its east basin suffered from alluvions. Thus, the reports of the officials often record the urgent need to clean and deepen the port (especially its east basin).After the revolution of "Aghios Titos" (1363-64), the port of Chania is abandoned and the port of Heraklion is used instead, as the port of Rethymnon presented similar problems. During the Venetian period, in 1551, a second request was submitted to deepen the port of Chania and to construct a wall with battlements to protect the ships from the rocks and reefs.In 1645 however, the city falls into the hands of the Turkish army after siege. The occupation of Crete by the Turks was official in 1669, after 25 years of war, when "Handakas" (Heraklion) fell. The new rulers of Crete had no interest to maintain the port of Chania, which was completely neglected during the Turkish period.Between the years1831-1841, Crete was assigned to the Regent of Egypt, Mehmet Ali, as a gift for his services to the Sultan during the 1821 revolution in Crete and Peloponnese. The value of the port of Chania was then recognized, as well as its potential to improve the local economy. It is said that Mehmet Ali ordered Mustapha Pasha to clean the basin of the port of Chania, to conduct maintenance works and to construct the lighthouse. Indeed, the construction works were finally completed, after a lot of effort and money.However, even then the ships were not able to approach the land, especially when the weather conditions were harsh, and the passengers and goods were transferred by small boats from the ships to the land, in front of the Mosque of "Kioutsouk Hassan", commonly known as "Giali Tzamisi". Nowadays, the picturesque Venetian port of Chania gathers a large number of visitors and local people, especially during the summer months. There are many restaurants, taverns, bars and cafeterias lengthwise to the coastline to offer you a pleasant time and entertainment.
The 1866 Square in Chania is located on the west part of the city, on the way to the "Kisamos" exit. This Square is one of "green" areas of the city, with many plants and statues of the heroes of the Cretan revolutions and an elegant Arabic fountain.Its name refers to the grand and bloody 3-year Cretan revolution (1866 - 1869) against the Turks, which resulted to the holocaust of "Arcadi". On the northwest side of the plateau, next to the hotels "Samaria" and "Omalos", there is the public bus station (KTEL) of the city.
The bus station offers a large network of destinations with modern buses, which connect Chania with Heraklion, Rethymnon, other towns and villages of the Chania Prefecture, as well as to other cities of Greece (Athens, Lamia, Larisa, Thessaloniki, Korinthos, Patra, Ioannina, Mesologi, ect).
The Archaeological Museum of Chania was established in 1963 and is located in the former Venetian monastery of St Francis at 25 Chalidon street in Chania city. The museum’s collection includes finds which have been excavated from various sites of the prefecture of Chania during the last 50 years. At the eastern part of the building, showcases contain finds of the Prehistoric era whereas on the western side finds date from the Geometric up to the Roman era. All finds are exhibited according to theme or site where they were found.
Starting the tour from the eastern side, exhibits date from the Neolithic to the Late Minoan era. Most finds come from Plativolas cave. Neolithic finds from caves are exhibited in other parts of the museum as well. Caves continued to be used during the Minoan era but as sacred places rather than for habitation and Neolithic remains were used in cult activities.
Excavations at the Kasteli hill, which lies in the heart of the modern city of Chania, uncovered finds that date from 3000BC to 1100BC. These finds are exhibited in several showcases. Some of them are connected with settlements of the Early Minoan era. It is presumed that these settlements were in contact with the palaces or that a palace remains uncovered under Chania city. Other exhibits show the Mycenaean occupation after 1450BC, when the palaces on the whole island were destroyed and so did the Kasteli settlement.
On the western part of the museum, finds of the Geometric era are few and mainly come from cemeteries. Archaic and Classical finds come from Axos village in Mylopotamos, Falasarna, Agia Roumeli and Cydonia – at the site of the modern-day Chania city. Jewelry and other impressive finds of the Hellenistic and Roman era come from tombs. Clay figurines from a Hellenistic workshop of Alexandria show the contacts among the two areas. Most clay figurines come from the Asklepieion in Lissos.
The Grand Arsenal is the last of the 17 Neoria to the west. Its construction started in 1585 by the Intendant Alvise Grimani. A new era began for the Grand Arsenal with the addition of the second flour in 1872 during the Turkish period. The building hosted several important public services and authorities.
Nowadays, it has been transformed from a roofless ruin into an impressive building that hosts various events and exhibitions. Since 2002, after its reformation, it hosts the Center of Mediterranean Architecture, organizing important cultural events, artistic exhibitions and international events related to architecture.
At the centre of Chania, dominates the historical Trimartiri, the Cathedral Temple of Chania, the Temple of Eisodion of Theotokos. The Temple of Eisodion, as Cathedral and Metropolitan and Protector of the City, concentrates the religious, oblative and generally devotional interest of godly population of Chania.
During the 150 years of its life, the Temple has been identified with the fate, the life and the history of the City and has been valorised as one of the remarkable historical monuments of Crete. According to historical testimonies, in the place that the Cathedral Temple is located today, a small Temple existed since the beginning of the 11th century, dedicated to Eisodia of Theotokos. The Venetians demolished this small Temple, building in its place a big storehouse for the needs of their Monastery, that was located opposite of it, on the other side of the current Halidon Street. Afterwards, when Turks enslaved Crete (1695), they transformed the storehouse of Catholics into a soap making workshop that was open until 1850. The manufacture of temple was completed in 1860.
The Temple of Eisodion is also known with the characterization Trimartyri because it is composed from three aisles: the central, where Eisodia of Theotokos are honoured, the right, where the Three Hierarches, Fathers and protectors of Greek Language are honoured, and the left, where Agios Nikolaos is honoured, as substitution of the homonym Temple of Splantzia that Turks had changed into a mosque. The Temple celebrates on November 21, feastday of Eisodion of Theotokos, which is also a holiday for the City of Chania.
The modern city of Chania is founded in the site of a significant ancient Minoan settlement, Kydonia or ku-do-ni-ja as it appears on Linear B script. According to the tradition, Kydonia was one of the three cities founded by King Minos in Crete.
The settlement that is presently excavated in the city of Chania has as center the hill of Kasteli and is the most important of the prefecture. Large habitations with well-built rooms, elegant floors with circular cavities- fireplaces, coated walls with deep red mortar, door frames and ceramics of excellent quality are some of the findings that indicate the existence of a significant proto-Minoan centre. The extended excavations in the archaeological site of Kasteli, which constitutes one of the most important monuments of the prehistoric period of Crete, are carried out since 1966 until today by the 25th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities. Some of the most important findings of the excavation are available in Chania Archaeological Museum.