Η Κίσσαμος ή Καστέλι είναι η πρωτεύουσα της επαρχίας Κισσάμου στο νομό Χανίων και είναι κτισμένη στη θέση της αρχαίας πόλης Πολυρρήνιας που λειτουργούσε ως λιμάνι στην αρχαιότητα.
Το Καστέλι στην πορεία της ιστορίας πέρασε υπό Αραβική, Ρωμαϊκή, και Ενετική κατοχή. Η πόλη πήρε το όνομα της από ένα μικρό κάστρο που ήταν κτισμένο εκεί. Το Καστέλι διαθέτει αξιόλογη τουριστική υποδομή καθώς και ξενοδοχεία, ενοικιαζόμενα δωμάτια, ταβέρνες, φρέσκο ψάρι, παραλίες, ενώ είναι πολύ γνωστά τα πολύ καλά είδη κρασιών του. Επίσης, υπάρχει ακτοπλοϊκή σύνδεση μεταξύ Κισσάμου και Πελοποννήσου.
Αξίζει να επισκεφθεί κανείς το λαογραφικό μουσείο, όπως επίσης και τον αρχαιολογικό χώρο της Πολυρρήνιας και της Μυθήμνης. Η επίσκεψη μπορεί να πραγματοποιηθεί είτε με υπεραστικό λεωφορείο των ΚΤΕΛ ή με αυτοκίνητο αν ακολουθήσετε τον δρόμο για την Κίσσαμο στα 42 χιλιόμετρα στα δυτικά της πόλης των Χανίων.
Μέρη κοντινά με Καστέλι Κισάμου
If you are planning for historical tours, then start your expedition with visiting some of the famous historical sites in Crete. There are many noteworthy historic sites in Crete and Kissamos Archaeological Museum, is one. The Kissamos Archaeological Museum, houses an extensive collection on archaeological items. The items on display provide you with a clear picture of the prehistoric times as well as early Christian era.Sprawling along the pristine sandy beach, the city of Kissamos in western Crete almost after 25 years, found an ideal location to store its impressive and important archaeological items. Today, the archaeological treasures of Kissamos are housed in the Kissamos Archaeological Museum, which is situated in the Venetian Residence of the town.On a visit to the Kissamos Archaeological Museum, Crete, you will come across an extensive collection of prehistoric and late historic times as well as early Christian era. First, you should cover the Room 1 of this museum. This room is located on the ground floor of the Kissamos Archaeological Museum in Crete. The room contains several artifacts, which depict the chronological table and the map of native archaeological sites. You will also get to see the findings of the Mithymna and Minoan periods.In the Room 2 of the Kissamos Archaeological Museum, Crete, you will discover artifacts that reflect on the Geometric Period and the historical evolution of the Polyrrhenia and Falassarna city-states. It was during the Hellenistic Period that these city-states witnessed economic and historical growth.On browsing through the Room 3 of the Kissamos Archaeological Museum, Crete, you will again get to see a demonstration on the Hellenistic Period with a collection of the ceramic findings. The ceramic findings in the museum belong to the subordinate towns and establishments of the region.In the rooms 4, 5 and 6 of the Kissamos Archaeological Museum, Crete, you will find mosaic floors, wall paintings, a sundial, Greco-Roman Kissamos statues, old coins, clay, metal, bone and ceramic object d’art. You can also take a look at the Christian tomb inscriptions, jewelry, 4th century BC female figure and Roman era grave items. Room 4 is the largest room of the museum.You must plan a visit to the famous Kissamos Archaeological Museum, Greece to make your historical tours successful and fulfilling experience of life.
Kissamos, later named Kasteli after its Venetian Castle, preserved in full the pre-Hellenistic name of a very ancient settlement, which was situated on the same site.
Plinios refers to it as Cisamon and Ptolemeus as Kissamos Polis (Kissamos City). Kissamos used to be a large, organized town, haven of Polyrinia, but autonomous and independent, with its own currency. On the one side of its coins is Hermes’ head with a broad-brimmed cap was depicted while on the other side there was a dolphin and the following letters Κ Σ Ι Ω.
The Italian traveler Buond-elmonti (beginning of 15th century) and the Englishman Pococke (1745) refer to Kissamos as an important palace with numerous pillars and foundations of large buildings along the beach to the west of Mavros Molos where the old harbor once existed. The town flourished during the Roman period which most of the remaining ruins are dated. One can see Roman baths, mansions with mosaic floors and the Roman cemetery.
There are also ruins of the Roman aqueduct on the Krya Vryssi site, as well as a number of buildings that were used in the construction of the fortress walls. In the museum, there are items such as pots, statues and glass vases, which date back to Archaic, Hellenistic and historic times. There are eye-witness accounts by Onorio Belli of the ruins of an excellent theatre and an amphitheatre in Roman Kissamos at the end of the 16th century.
The Kissamos acropolis survives on the Seli site half an hour to the west of Kissamos, where pre-war excavations by V. Theophanides revealed a Mycenaean sanctuary, which according to tradition was built by the Mycenae King Agamemnon. Kissamos sustained great prosperity during the first Byzantine period and it was then that the Kissamos Diocese was established. During the second Byazantine period it was transferred to the village of Episkopi to avoid pirate raids. During the Venetaion occupant, the Kissamos Diocese came under the power of the Catholic Church. A Latin Bishop is mentioned in 1307.
During the same period a fortress was built (1579-1582) in a pentagonal shape with a church, a prison, barracks and a well. This fortress was later occupied by the Turks who had to reconstruct it. It is still in good condition today and one can see it on top of the step rock. During the Turkish occupation, Kastelli played an active role in the rebellions against enslavement by the Turks, the efforts made for the unification of Crete with Greece and during the Second World War.
The efforts mad by both the town and the entire district against the Nazi occupation were outstanding. Today Kasteli is the west entrance to Crete from mainland Greece. It is a beautiful township with excellent beaches and all the facilities that make any traveller’s stay both pleasant and unforgettable.