Chania is the second-largest city of Crete Island. The city can be divided into two parts: the old town and the modern city.
The old town is next to the old harbour. The borders of the old town are the ruins of old Venetian walls. The central part of the old town is called Kasteli and it has been around since Neolithic times. Kasteli is on a small hill, which made it an ideal spot for its settlement. The location was secure next to the harbour and close to fertile soil. Eleftherios Venizelos Square is the main square in the old town. Topanas district is to the west. It was the Christian quarter during the Ottoman period. The Topanas area features narrow alleys and old buildings.
The modern city isn’t as traditional as the old town, but still features some historical sites, one of which includes Eleftherios Venizelos’ house, which dates back to 1880. Other historical buildings include: the old French School, the “Palace,” which was the home of Prince George, and the Church of Agia Magdalini.
During World War II, Chania was invaded and occupied by German forces. The British force would face the German paratroopers in 1941 during the Battle of Crete. The British force had artillery that would bombard the Germans, until the ammunition ran out. Part of the city would be bombed and much of the area’s population would be imprisoned or executed because of their resistance to German rule. The Jewish community of Chania would be eliminated during the German occupation. Many were transported off the island in 1944. Sadly, the ship Tanias, which was carrying many of the Jewish prisoners was hit by a British torpedo.
During the 1950s, Chania would get back to its development and overcome the difficulties the war had caused.
Administrative Region For Chania, Grece
Area Of Chania, Greece
Municipality: 351.3 km2 (135.6 sq mi)
Municipal Unit: 12.56 km2 (4.85 sq mi)
Population Of Chania, Greece
Municipality: 108, 642
Municipal Unit: 53, 910
Top Attractions In Chania, Greece
Gramvoussa Castle – Located near Chania and Balos Beach. Castle dates back to the 16th century. Explore the grounds of the castle and you’ll get a feel for how magnificent it once was.
Frangokastello Fortress – A fortress built by the Venetians after they conquered the island of Crete. It was built to be used as a military base and protect the city. The site is rich with history and this fortress is well-preserved.
Old Venetian Harbour – Considered a main hub of the island in the past. Harbour features an old fortress and lighthouse. Stroll to the lighthouse to explore and take in the gorgeous views.
Agii Apostoli Beach – A clean beach with soft sand and sparkling, crystal blue water. Bars and tavernas are convenient. Public transportation is also close by.
Souda Beach – Located 7 km from Chania. Plenty of facilities nearby, sun beds and umbrellas to rent, and resorts close by. Beach can by busy, but worth the visit.
Ottoman Baths (Hammams) – Located in Town. Baths were built by the Turkish Empire around 1645. Hammams played an important role in Middle-Eastern culture and served as placed for social gathering and body cleaning.
Naval Museum of Crete – Located at the entrance of the old harbour in Chania. The location as historical significance as the Greek flag was raised there on December 1, 1913 when Crete unified with the Greek State. View ship models and pictures in exhibits that date from prehistoric times to 6th century BC.
Archaeological Museum – Located close to the Venetian harbour in the Catholic Church of Saint Francis. Exhibits from Neolithic to Roman times.
Byzantine Museum – Located in the Church of San Salvadore in the old town. Collection of items from Byzantine, post-Byzantine, and Venetian times. Items come from excavations as well as donations.
The Clock Tower of Chania – Located on the northeastern side of the municipal garden. Construction took three years, from 1924 – 1927. To the right of the tower you will find the stadium of the town.