Info on Chania
Chania is a city of unique beauty with reminders of the past at
every turn. The old city is surrounded by the Venetian walls of
the 15th century, which are an excellent representation of the Venetian
architecture. Old Venetian buildings that are beautifully renovated
fascinate with the magic of the era and allow you to travel back
in time. The narrow streets lead you among the Venetian and Turkish
buildings indicating the passage of conquerors of yesteryear. The
Old Harbor, with its long Venetian pier and lighthouse remind you
of the times when Chania was a large commercial city. The harbor
today is too small to be of service for modern day needs, the port
of Souda now serves the city.
Chania is built
on the site of ancient Kidonia. According to the myth, the city
was built by Kidon, grandson of Minos, son of Hermes. Archeological
excavations proved the existence of a Minoan settlement. In 69 BC
it was conquered by the Romans and held by them till 325 AD, when
it passed to the Byzantines. In 823 AD they built a city on the
hill named Kasteli, which was called "la Canea". The first defensive
wall was built around 1300 AD. In the 16th century this wall was
reinforced and extended to include the new quarters of the growing
city. Chania experienced commercial and economic success and it
was called the Venice of the east. The new walls were not sufficient
enough to prevent the Turks from attacking. Chania was the first
city that was occupied by them in 1645 AD.
The Mosques and the Turkish baths and the buildings with the grille
windows are all from the Turkish rule. In 1850, Chania was declared
the capital of the island. It stayed the capital during this period
and through the Period of Independence of Crete (1893-1913) and
after the union with Greece until 1972.
official union of Crete with the rest of Greece, December 13, 1913,
was celebrated with the raising of the Greek flag on Firka Fort.
This led to a cease in the turmoil and hard oppression on the proud
and brave Cretan people. This pride and bravery was last called
on to fight against German occupation, when Chania was once again
turned into a battlefield in 1951 (battle of Crete). With distinguished
gallantry, the residents battled with 3,500 German parachutist in
the vicinity of Malent (20 km west of Chania).
new town, which is where the day to day business of Chania goes
on, with its shops, offices, post office and banks. The renowned
indoor market, bus station and the Old Town, built around the Venetian
Harbor with numerous and picturesque narrow streets displaying the
influence of decades of foreign domination. Evening in Chania can
be as sedate or as active as you choose. In the evening the Old
Harbor is the center of life in Chania, where people come out to
have a drink and watch the world pass by. In the summer months,
most social life takes place of doors. Eating possibilities range
from charming garden tavernas, often set in the ruins of some majestic
building of the past to simple village kafenions with good basic
home cooked food at incredibly low prices.
The vast number of bars and cafes offer everything from trendy
to traditional. You'll find every type of music played, popular
Greek, Jazz, Latin, Hard Rock and Euro Pop - whatever you want,
you'll find it somewhere in town. All partying tends to start late
- winding down around 5 am!