HISTORICAL OVERVIEW

HISTORICAL OVERVIEW

OF THE CITY OF CHANIA

Historical Monuments

Historical monuments > Historical Monuments

Municipal Garden

The Public Garden is located between A. Papandreou and Tzanakaki Streets. It was designed in 1870 according to the European standards and was the first charitable work of the city of Chania during the period of administration Reouf Pasha. Today is an oasis of green and recreation area; it has a small zoo, cafeteria, playground, library, and an outdoor cinema.

Stivanadika

Stivanadika in Srydlof Street are one of the most popular and commercial streets of Chania. It received this nickname from the workshops of stivania (boots) and leather products that were previously there. Today is a pole of attraction for tourists offering handicrafts, souvenirs and traditional products.

Historical Archive of Crete

The Historical Archive of Crete was founded in 1920 and is housed in a neoclassical building on I. Sfakianakis Street in Chania. It includes a significant volume of archives and exhibits, representative of the history of Crete, which rank it first among the regional Archives of the country. A museum history and folklore department also operates on its premises.

The Catholic Church of Chania

The Catholic Church of Chania is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is the seat of the Catholic Diocese of Crete. This is a three-transept church built in 1842, on the area where in 1566 the Capuchin monks had founded the first monastery on the island. The building has undergone renovations and operations and functions as a parish church of the Catholic community of the city.

The French School

It is a neoclassical building of the 19th century. The main building was built in 1858 on behalf of an Egyptian Merchant and expanded in the early 20th century. In 1884 it became property of the nuns of the Catholic Church and nowadays is property of the Technical University of Crete.

Judicial – Administration Building

Its construction began in the last years of Ottoman rule in order to become a military hospital. It had influenced the structure of the first plan of the new city, and took its final form in 1936. Today the building houses the Courts of Chania, the Court of Appeal of West Crete, the Lawyer Association, the Club Gendarmerie and the Citizen Service Center of Chania.

Turkish Bath-Hamam-(Katre)

The Hamam of Katre is located on the hill of Kastelli. It is an Ottoman bath with vaulted arcades and smaller chapels. It had a second floor, but it is destroyed. The building was given to the Association of Persons with Disabilities and used as a training center. Also, in its areas was operated a laboratory of folk art.

Turkish Bath – Hamam-(Zambeliou and Duka)

The Hamam at Zambeliou and Duka junction was of the early Ottoman period. This is a classic type Ottoman bath consisting of a long and narrow changing room with warm and hot section area covered with six domes. Later was added a new floor. Today it is property of the Ministry of Culture.

Turkish subterranean fountain in Splantzia square

It is a large subterranean fountain in Splantzia square, whose construction dates back to the 18th century. It had a ritual function, serving the Muslims praying in the Mosque of the Monarch. The final layout, consisting of three long and narrow rooms, is dated in the late 19th century.

Turkish Bath-Hamam – (Halidon)

Built in the 17th century, the Hamam of Yusuf Pasha was erected in place of the Venetian monastery of St. Clara located at the opposite site of San Francisco (Archaeological Museum) in current Halidon Street. Part of it was destroyed by the German bombing in 1941. In 1965 was declared preserved, until 1994 housed a bell tower foundry, and now works as a clothing store.

The Lighthouse

Around 1595-1601 a lighthouse was built by the Venetians, founded on the natural rock, which functioned as an open flame torch (fryktoria) and is referred to as a “lantern” in a plan of the city of Chania of 1689 by V. Coronelli.

For the renewal of the water and the avoidance of embankments, an opening was created on the breakwater and the bastion of Agios Nikolaos was constructed in its centre. The latter covered the long distance to the entrance of the harbour, which it protected, in combination with the Firkas fortress. It was then that the provolos, the tower of the lighthouse that exists to this day, was constructed. It is framed in the Venetian trapezoidal base on natural rock. Its architectural elements are linked to the local tradition, as it was formed from the end of the Venetian occupation onwards. It was at this time that Lighthouse took the form we know. The tower of the building consists of three sections of different cross-section: the base section is octagonal, the middle section is hexagonal and the third is circular. The material of the base is of the same origin and quality as that used by the Venetians to construct the fortifications of the city of Chania.

According to the authoritative English “lighthouses” of 1847 and 1859, the Lighthouse was restored – on its Venetian base – and in 1839 it operated with the new technology of the time. There is no documented information about his first lamp, nor is there any evidence to show when he stopped operating as an open flame torch.

The new Lighthouse is, as mentioned, different from the original one. It is more reminiscent of a minaret both in its form and in the internal stone staircase, which leads to the balcony with the glass turret. That is why the monument is not classified as one of the standard towers of the lighthouses in relation to its cross-section. It is a “port lighthouse” and consists only of the lighthouse tower, without the keepers’ residence, like the other lighthouses under surveillance. This is because it is located in a residential area, so it was not necessary to supervise its operation from a guard house adjacent or close to the tower. Nevertheless, around the end of the 19th century, a tile-roofed guardhouse was constructed at the base of the Lighthouse, but it was demolished before 1967. Throughout the height of the interior there is a stonework ladder that acts as a helical element of rigidity.

In 1864 the lighthouse came under the jurisdiction of the French Company of Ottoman Lighthouses and operated with a lighting device “mirror of the 4th class”. At the end of the Turkish occupation, the staircase on the eastern side, i.e. at the entrance of the Lighthouse Tower, was constructed. The perimeter solid stone parapet and the octagonal outpost with the small dome are newer constructions. Pipelines have also been created through which sea water passes under the surface of the base of the lighthouse.

The Lighthouse, the jewel and “trademark” of the city, is 21 m high, with a height of 26 m above sea level. It is the oldest surviving lighthouse not only of the Greek and Mediterranean coasts, but also one of the oldest in the world.

Agios Georgios Koumpeli

Built in a small cove west of Cape Meleha, the church of St. George Koumpeli was the Catholic of a large monastic complex of the Venetian period. It was probably destroyed in 1645 during the siege of the city of Chania by the Ottomans. Today survives only the church.

The Church of Agios Eleftherios

The church of Agios Eleftherios is located in present Gavaladon Street. Is an Orthodox church, and its foundation dates back to the late Venetian period. During the Ottoman rule was used as oil warehouse and has undergone significant changes. Today it has been acquired and restored by the Archaeological Service.

The church of Agia Irini

The Orthodox church of Agia Irini is situated in a private residence built in the Kallinikou Sarpaki Square. It is a two-transept vaulted church, which has undergone several changes over time. Expropriated by the Archaeological Department and now operates as a chapel.

Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Collection of Chania

In the northwestern corner of the Venetian fortifications within the Venetian Catholic Church of San Salvatore of the Franciscans it is housed the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Collection of Chania. Exhibits such as mosaics, tomb inscriptions, paintings, photographs, coins, architectural sculptures, paintings, ceramics, miniatures, compose the history of Chania from the early Christian times to the Ottoman rule.