Tour of the Monuments

Hoogiar Jamisi


The great monastery of the Order of Dominican monks in Chania was built around 1320 by the brotherhood of Candia, which requested in a document the import of unseasoned timber for this purpose. Architecturally it follows the model of the Central Monastery of St. Peter. The monastery, as we know it from depictions on old maps, photographs and descriptions, consists of the church with the high bell tower and a double gallery on the north side. From the complex today, the catholic church and a part of the western portico on its northern side (Chatzi Roussou Vourdoumba Street) survive altered.

The temple was a basilica with a transept, which ended in a tripartite step without an arch. The central part of the sanctuary and the solaea is housed by large cross vaults with sharp ribs and the lateral compartments of the sanctuary by pointed arches. The rest of the temple was timber-framed with a gable roof. On the west wall of the southern part of the transept there is a later confessional in the form of a manier doorway. Externally, the temple is supported by high buttresses built into the masonry. The north-western compartment of the sanctuary, which is today housed with a cross-shaped dome, is the rest of the base of the high bell tower. In this part of the temple, research work was carried out by the Archaeological Service, which revealed interesting information about its original form. From the middle of the transept an arched opening, which was formed later with the addition of a doorway in second use, led to the gallery with the cells. Today the enclosed courtyard and the north side of the two-storey portico are preserved. The ground floor consists partly of a covered portico, which is covered by cross vaults and has rooms on the first floor. In the centre of the courtyard there was a small tank.

During the years of Ottoman rule, the temple was converted into the Hoogar Jamisi, which was the central mosque of the city. Its importance is emphasized by the existence of two instead of one exostas (serifes) in the minaret, which was built in the southwest corner of the temple. The morphological elements of the minaret are interesting because they follow the Venetian tradition, still fresh in Crete.

In the square in front of the mosque, an underground fountain was built in the 18th century for the necessary ritual rites. In 1918 the Orthodox of Chania occupied the church and established it in honour of Saint Nicholas. Then a large semicylindrical arch was added on the eastern side. In the 1950s an unfortunate attempt to restore the church led to the replacement of the wooden roof with a new concrete structure and the division of the interior with concrete colonnades.


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The headquarters Venizelos / Therisos Movement Headquarters

So called the headquarters of the Revolutionary Assembly in 1905, in Therisos, which organized the homonymous revolution against the authoritarian rule of the High Commissioner George. Nowadays, the building has been converted into a museum for the exposition of weapons, objects from that period and evidence of the revolutionary action of Eleftherios Venizelos.

The Garden Clock

The Clock stands on the north-eastern side of the Garden and is one of the most characteristic recent monuments of the city. It was built in the period 1924-1927 to plans by D. Kollarou, has a tripartite structure and its roof is formed into a circular pavilion. Today it is inextricably linked to the historical route of the Garden and is a symbol and an integral part of it.

Venizelio Conservatory

The Venizelio Conservatory of Chania is located on Nikiforo Fokas Street and is housed in a privately owned neoclassical building founded in 1931 at the expense of Elena Venizelou. It has a theater hall, with a stage and a balcony, with a capacity of about 300 seats and belongs to the “Association for the dissemination of Fine Arts in Crete”. Today it hosts DI.PE.THE. of Crete and the mixed Choir of Chania.