Chania, the second largest city of Crete (60,000 inhabitants) and capital from 1851-1972.
History, sightseeing, museums, surrounding area and hotels.

'Venetian harbor' of Chania
The ‘Venetian harbor’ of Chania. On the right the lighthouse, in the center the fortress Firkas.


minaret of Aghios Nikolaos Church
Alley with view to the minaret of Aghios Nikolaos Church.
One enters Chania within the Souda highway, a lovely avenue having high plane plants, among the love­liest and the most charming streets on Crete.
For arriving at Chania you should carry on with Nearchou Street and after that Stratigou Tzanakaki Street. At the outset of what are the Community Gardens, a work by Rauf Pasha carried out 1870 during the Turkish rule. Numerous banks, travel companies and the office buildings of Olympic Airways are everywhere you look on the street which ends up at Sophocli Venizelou Square.

Face-to-face will be the community marketplace, a beautiful, cruciform-shaped structure having gates on all 4 edges, inside are typically located grocers’ stores, seafood booths, natural grocers’ and butchers’ stores. Further more west is Chalidon Street, a charming road which ends up in the Old Town and the Venetian harbor. While you walk along Chalidon Street you will notice a square on the right hand, towards the back being the Cathedral Church of Chania, Trimartyri, a triple­-aisled cathedral, the middle section committed to the Presentation of the Virgin, the northern part to Ayios Nikolaos and the southern part of to the Three Hierarchs.

Opposing the cathedral is the restored Venetian church of St. Francis, the biggest and most magnificent Venetian church on the Crete. Nowadays the Archeological Museum of the Chania is situated inside the church.

port of Chania
At the port of Chania.

The Old Town is dispersed surrounding the Venetian harbor. It has small roads, 2 and 3 floor Venetian, Turkish as well as other classic buildings, colored in many shades with timber balconies; inside the ground floors are fashionable stores, restaurants, taverns, nighttime attractions or even hotels. To the northwest ending of the harbor is the ‘Firkas’ fort; the place that the Greek banner was raised the first time in 1913. Nowadays it contains the Naval Museum (see further down).

To the east side of the harbor are the Venetian shipyards, constructed in the 15th century. A breakwater constructed from massive rocks shields the harbor which could keep 40 galleys. You can find the remains of the castle in the center of it as well as the access is controlled by the Venetian lighthouse, a structure belonging to the 16th century that was resolved by the Egyptians in 1830.

Venetian shipyards of Chania
The Venetian shipyards of Chania.

To the southeast side of the harbor is Kastelli hill the location where the Venetians constructed a citadel. At the time of WW2 several buildings were demolished by the bombing and the area got rid of the classic style.

fishing port of Chania
At the fishing port of Chania.

The traditional location of Chalepa is located in the eastern part of the Chania. It is associated with significant historic occasions belonging to the end of the 19th century and is the place of the old palace of Prince George, the home of Eleftherios Venizelos and also the church of Ayia Magdalene can be found there.

Byzantine wall of Chania
Remains of the ancient Byzantine wall of Chania.

The Archeological Museum of Chania is actually situated in the church of St Francis at 21 Chalidon Street. It includes discovers belonging to the region of Chania as well as Western Crete, through the Neolithic into the Roman pe­riod: Neolithic along with Minoan pot­tery belonging to the Platyvolos cave, Prepalatial ceramic coming from the settlement of Kastelli Chanion, earlier Geometric together with Geometric vases, stone tools and vases, tablets within Linear A letters, seal stones, Postpalatial equipment, vases, pyxes, daggers, poly chrome sarco­phagi, sculptures along with figurines belonging to the Classical and Hellenistic time as well as mosaic grounds from Chania dated to the Third century AD.


The Folklore Museum of Chania is actually located inside an area within the Public Library on Kydonias Av., having exhibitions of folk artwork. The Historical Archives of Crete along with the museum are situated inside a neoclassical structure at 20 Sfa­kianaki Street, with assorted exhibitions, historic collection along with other stuff. A room is dedicated to Eleftherios Venizelos and his private stuff. The Municipal Gallery is located in the room of the City Megaron and the Naval Museum inside the Firkas fort with many exhibitions about the Navy.

White Mountains
The White Mountains can be seen here in the background, further ahead the airport of Chania on the Akrotiri peninsula.

A fantastic attraction is Chersoni­sos, Akrotiri, northeast of Chania which you access through Eleftheriou Venizelou Street, 4.5 km. On the left hand is the hill of Profitis llias which played a significant part in Cretan history during the revolt of 1897. The revo­lutionary government, heading by Eleftherios Venizelos, had its headquarter on the hill. From this posi­tion the small number of rebels encountered the assaults of the Turkish troops coming from the land and the bombardment of the European ‘Protective Forces’, who had entered in to the harbor of Chania to assist the Turks. The rebels prevai­led ultimately. Nowadays the monu­ment as well as the simple grave of Eleftherios Venizelos together with his son Sophoclis are on the hill.

Hotels in and around Chania

Overview of available hotels in and around Chania at the best price!

Monastery of Ayia Triadha

Monastery of Ayia Triadha
Monastery of Ayia Triadha

On the hills of Mount Tzombo­mylos close to the village of Kouma­res (15 km from Chania) inside a lovely environment covered with olive groves, vineyards and cy­press plants, is the monastery of Ayia Triada constructed in the 17th century by 2 Venetian priests of the Tzangaroli household who adopted the Orthodox religion. In the center of the monastery is a grand, cruciform church with a done, committed to Ayia Triada and 2 side chapels to Zoo­dochos Pigis and Ioannis Theo­logos. The high bell-tower, which overlooks the town, was constructed in 1864 on the facade of the mo­nastery. The monastery had been incredibly rich and maintained the traditions of teaching.


Directions to monastery of Ayia Triada

map creteLink to map with directions:
Click here: Directions monastery of Ayia Triada (Chania).

Naval Museum

Marine Museum Chania2
The red building in the center was the fortress ‘Firkas’ and is now the Naval Museum of Chania.

Visit of the exhibits with numerous, marvelous ship models as well as dioramas including ancient sea battles.

Naval Museum of Chania
Inside the Naval Museum of Chania.

The Naval Museum of Crete was first set up in Chania in 1973 and has already received an award from the Historical-Ethnological Society for its work. It is located at the entrance to the Venetian fortress ‘Firkas’, which dominated the port entrance.

The displayed exhibits in the Naval Museum are fascinating, especially for the enthusiast, because of their numerous, marvelous ship models as well as dioramas and old maps of the Venetian Chania as well as ancient sea battles.
The two-storey museum has 13 exhibition areas ranging from ancient times to the Battle of Crete.

Diorama from the port of Chania
Diorama from the port of Chania during the Venetian rule.

You start by visiting the Naval Museum in the foyer, where the age of the Venetian rule over Crete from 1204 to the year 1669 is represented. Models of the Venetian fortresses and of Chania from this period are exhibited.
Chania, however, was already conquered by the Turks under heavy losses in 1645 after a two-month siege, which is reflected in the fact that the Turkish commander was executed after his return because of the loss of 40,000 men.

A corridor from the Venetian area leads to the other exhibition halls on the first floor.
First you will find an interesting collection of shells in different colors and sizes. Amphoras are also exhibited from ancient shipwrecks.

Dioramas of phases of sea battles
Dioramas of phases of sea battles from the Persian Wars.

In the next exhibition area, models of ships from the Bronze Age to the Roman times can be found. There is a replica of the Minoan ship Symio as well as the model of an Athenian Trireme. Additional, panoramas of ancient sea battles, especially from the Persian wars.

Then follows the exhibition area with ship models from the Byzantine and Ottoman area, including the Corvette.

Model of a Roman Trireme.
Model of a Roman Trireme.

In the fourth and last hall on the first floor there are ship models from the Greek War of Independence in 1821 to the unification of Crete with Greece, and the two Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913 and finally World War One.

In the large area on the upper floor there are exhibits from WW2 up to the present day as well about the Greek commercial fleet.
Particular attention should be paid to the Greek cruiser Elli, the submarine Papanikolis and smaller ships of the merchant navy, such as Theseus and Elpis.

Most impressive, however, is the reconstruction of a bridge of a torpedo boat from the Second World War, with authentic machine sounds and the impression for the visitor to move across the open sea.

bridge of a torpedo boat
Reproduction of the bridge of a torpedo boat.

A good part of this floor is also concerned to the Battle of Crete and shows life-size figures of British, New Zealand and Greek soldiers as well as Cretan freedom fighters. In addition, there are numerous photographs and equipment of German paratroopers and from the occupation troops.

The Naval Museum also has a well-stocked library with books in Greek and other languages on the subject of naval science.
In the evenings during summer seasons are shows with Greek national dances in the yard of the Naval Museum.

As you pass the main gate to the Naval Museum, you can also reach the small naval fortress ‘Firkas’, where you can walk on the renovated fortifications of the sea-side. Here it was the first time that the modern Greek flag was hoisted on Crete in 1913.

More photos from the Naval Museum:


Visits and entrance fees

The Naval Museum is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm during the season (from 1 April to 31 October) and from 9 am to 2 pm during the other times.
Admission is 2.50 Euros for adults, 1.50 Euros for students and children under 6 are free.

Directions to the Naval Museum of Chania

map creteLink to map with directions:
Click here: Directions Naval Museum.

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