CRETE SIGHTSEEING

MUNICIPAL MARKET

The Municipal Market is located in the center of the city of Chania. It was first operated in 1913, while Eleftherios Venizelos was the Prime Minister of Greece. It is shaped as a cross and has 4 entrances, one in each wing. 76 shops are under its roof, among them, butcher shops, fish shops, pharmacies, as well as various shops selling local products. Since 1980 it is characterized as a preserved monument by the Ministry of Civilization.

VENETIAN PORT-OLD HARBOUR

The old Venetian Port was constructed between 1320 and 1356 by the Venetians, in order to protect the city. Starting from Akti Enoseos, you may easily see and admire the lighthouse that is located at the end of the walls. It was originally built in 1570 and reconstructed for the last time in in 1830, taking the shape that we know it today. Its height is 21m. and its light goes out 7 miles. It is the oldest lighthouse saved, not only in Greece, but also in the Mediterranean. You may visit it by walking along the walls from the east side of the old port, but it is not allowed to enter, due to its sensitive structure. The view from the lighthouse is spectacular, while watching the sunset there will prove to be an unforgettable experience.

Walking away from the sea and towards the interiors of the old port, you will be enchanted by the picturesque narrow streets, the endless shops and the peculiar buildings of the old town, heritage of all the conquerors of the island.

Special reference should be made to the Neoria, shipyards that were constructed between 1467 and 1599. Originally 17 were built, but gradually 9 were demolished. Today a group of 7 consecutive shipyards are preserved, as well as 1 that is located on the west, called the Big Arsenali that today hosts the Center of Architecture of the Mediterranean.

FIRKAS FORT

Firkas is a Venetian fort constructed in the 16th century, located at the Northwest edge of the port, with purpose to protect the city and the port itself. In 1913, inside Firkas (Turkish word for Fort), the prime minister of Greece, Eleftherios Venizelos declared the union of Crete to the rest of Greece. Today, in the interior you may find the Nautical Museum, as well as a small theatre.

GIALI TZAMISI MOSQUE

The mosque Kioutsouk (little) Hassan or Giali Tzamisi (the mosque of the seaside) as it is most commonly named, was a work of an Armenian architect, who also constructed a similar one at the village of Spaniako. The Mosque that also used to have in its courtyard palm trees and graves of janizaris, stopped operating in 1923.

Today it has been renovated, without its small minaret that was demolished in 1920 and it operates as a space for exhibitions and events.

KOUM KAPI

Koum Kapi is a district right outside the eastern walls of the old town . The name of Koum Kapi has Turkish origin and means Gate of the Sant. (Kum Kapisi). Today “Koum Kapi” is one of the most developed districts of the city and gathers thousands of visitors every summer, who come to enjoy the view to the sea and the numerous high quality cafeterias and restaurants.

METROPOLIS CHURCH - TRIMARTIRI

Walking towards to the old harbor, down Halidon Street, you can meet the church of Trimartiri (Presentation of Virgin Mary). The exact time of construction of the church is not verified, but as far as it is known, w hen the city of Chania was occupied by the Turks in 1645, the temple was converted into a soap-factory without altering its initial design. It exists in the form that it has today since 1864.

MOSQUE OF AGA TZAMISI - HATZIMICHALI DALIANI STREET

The Muslim mosques complete the religious life of the Turks in Crete. In Hatzimichali Daliani street, you may find the Aga Tzami, from which the mosque and a few buildings have survived. Hatzimichali Daliani Street is a very interesting and busy pedestrian street, specially cherished by the young people, due the diversity of the shops and cafes: retro bars, bistros, traditional restaurants and pastry shops with local treats, as well as clothing shops.

SPLANTZIA

The square of Splantzia is in an ideal location by the center of Chania, just beside the old town and the area of Koum Kapi. It is a beautiful place with great history. It was the Turks gathering place, during the Turkish occupation, as Syntrivani square was for the Cretans. At the center of the square there is the beautiful temple of Saint Nikolas, that during those days it was converted to a mosque, with its minaret still preserved nowadays. Under the high plane tree (where many Christians were executed during the Turkish period) and near the elegant Arabic kiosk at the center of the district, there was an underground water tank.

Today Splantzia is one of the most popular parts of the city that attracts variable kinds of people, with its one of a kind cafes and little restaurants.

STIVANADIKA

Very close to the Municipal Market, there is one of the most commercial streets in the city: Skrindlof or Skrydlof Street with several shops side by side. At the point that it meets Halidon Street, the area takes the name “Stivanadika”, after the word “stivania”, the traditional boots of the Cretan costume. In “Stivanadika” apart from the boots, you will find lots of leather accessories and various souvenirs.

VENIZELOS' GRAVES

In the peninsula of Akrotiri, at the hill of Prophet Elias, the graves of Eleftherios and Sofoklis Venizelos are located. Eleftherios Venizelos ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleftherios_Venizelos ) had expressed the desire to be buried at this point, which he did, in 1936. Later on, in 1965 his son, Sofoklis Venizelos that was also a prime minister of Greece from 1943- 1952, was buried beside him . Vary close to their graves, a statue of liberty made of rocks was constructed, that symbolizes the struggles of the Cretans towards their freedom. The whole hill is surrounded with magnificent gardens, benches and paths and together with the magnificent view makes it an ideal meeting point attracting thousands of visitors.

HALEPA - THE HOUSE OF ELEFTHERIOS VENIZELOS

The grounds that the house of the family Venizelos was built on, was purchased by Kyriakos Venizelos, the father of Eleftherios, in 1876. It has 2 stories and it is surrounded by luscious gardens and vineyards. Today the house is a monument and it houses the foundation Eleftherios Venizelos. A second house of the family is located in Mournies.

TABAKARIA

In the area Tabakaria the tanneries were located, before the 19th century. During the German Occupation the tanneries stopped their operation. Today some have been abandoned, some have changed their use and some are still working. The thing that has not changed overtime is their architecture. Completely adjusted to the scenery, are built of stone and have tiled roofs, looking towards the sea. It is an area of unique architecture.

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