After the occupation of the city of Chania by the Turks (1645) a new situation was formed. Turks live mainly in the eastern districts of Kastelli and Splantzia. The Christians have their residences mainly in the Topanas district, in the northwest of the city, named after the Venetian powder magazine (Turkish: Top-Hane) at the beginning of Theotokopoulou Street.

At the end of the 19th century, the district has fine houses and narrow streets but also preserved Venetian buildings that “maintain the atmosphere of medieval silence and half-light, which helps in retrospection and reminiscence”. Formerly the Consulates of the Great Powers were located there, before being transferred to Chalepa. Now the various centres of the waterfront are offered for the social gatherings of Chanians, with the band playing on festive days.

On the northwestern side of Topkhanas rises the fortress of Firka (military unit, division).

“A fairly spacious barracks, very well kept, occupies the inner part of the old fortress, which is supported on the old walls. And beneath these walls stretches a spacious and beautiful, but still unkempt square, the curbs of which are washed by the weary wave of the sea. A few fine houses rise to the left of the old fortress, and a handsome shop with the topical name of Aktaion is the greatest rival of the Mayor’s Garden as the centre of Chania. In that Aktaion where in summer Klonaridou beer is offered, with the music of the flute covering the dissonances of a winded violin and a much-played piano, Chaniotai conversationalists and Chaniotistas spend the summer evenings gracefully and elegantly.”