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Chania and its vestiges of the past

The city of Chania is located in the northwest part of Crete and is one of the most picturesque places of this beautiful island. Since the end of the Turkish occupation to 1972, Chania was the capital of Crete.



Today, Chania, with its 60,000 inhabitants, is the second largest city of the island and the political-administrative and cultural center of the region and the western part of the island.

Chania is located on the former site of Minoan Kydonia. In ancient times, it was a very important city-state which continued to grow and became the most powerful city-state in the region, so that it is even mentioned in the famous Odyssey of Homer.

Kydonia was developed under the control of many invaders such as the Romans, the Arabs, the Byzantines, the Venetians (who bought it for only 100 gold coins) and the Turks.

These are specifically Arabs, invading Crete in 824, who renamed Kydonia in “Hania”. The place is still the same from this time.

The late 19th century is a particularly important period for the development of Chania, where the great European powers liberated the city from the Turks and proclaimed this place as the capital of Crete. The city had known a prosperous period and had been developed thanks to its strategically position at the crossroads of civilizations of Europe and the East.

The many monuments with neoclassical architecture that are still active testify to the richness of this era and its unique cultural heritage that has been saved for centuries. Local people will tell you that Chania is made of two towns : the new town, that is, from an architectural point of view, like other Greek towns and the ancient town, most medieval, that has managed to preserve its authenticity and architectural masterpieces influenced by various invaders who conquered Crete.

In the old town, you will be able to find the port, the Venetian lighthouse, mosques and fountains that are gathering places where walkers can travel through the history of Crete. According to a decision of the Ministry of Culture of Greece, the old town has become, in 1965, a monument of great importance.

The most visited places are the covered markets of Agora and the famous cross-shaped building that homes more than 70 shops where you will be able to find local products of great qualities such as olives, cheeses, honey, wine and raki.

The market of Agora

The market of Agora

In the area of Chania, stone tablets with inscriptions in Linear B (ancient writing form) have been found and remains undeciphered to this day. These are the first traces of literacy in Europe.

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