Top 5 old architectural attractions in Chania

The Lighthouse of Chania

The Lighthouse of Chania ©Romtomtom/Flick

The region of Chania is situated in western Crete and has an important place in the history of Crete. Historians say that Chania was the exact place where the flourishing Minoan town of Kydonia was. After the disappearance of the Minoan civilization, the area knew a period of descend and then came a period of prosperity in the XIV century when it was conquered by the Venetians. The Venetians left their mark on the place, especially in the city of Chania.

Many old architectural attractions can be found in the old town, dating from that period, such as the old Lighthouse in the Venetian Port that became the symbol of the city.

Yiali Tzami Mosque

The Yiali Tzami Mosque is one of the top 5 architectural attractions of Chania and dominates the Venetian harbor of the city. It is one of the most impressive places of worship. The building is rectangular, with a large dome supported by four arches and do not have a minaret, because it was destroyed in the early twentieth century. The Yiali Tzami Mosque was the first built after the conquest of the city of Chania by the Turks in 1649. It was a place of worship for Muslims until 1923 when the last inhabitant of Turkish origin left the island.

The Venetian Port of Chania with the mosque

The Venetian Port of Chania with the mosque ©Shepard4711/Flick

Frangokastello

The most important historical attraction in the region of Chania is the Frangokastello or the Castle of Franks (which are the Venetians). It was built between the years 1371-1374 and had the function of a military base for the Venetian army. The castle has a rectangular shape, with massive towers in each of the four corners. The buildings and fortifications that you will visit in the interior of the castle were completed by the Turks.

Chania Lighthouse

One of the important elements of the Venetian harbor of Chania is the lighthouse that was built by the Venetians in the 16th century. It is made of stone blocks and owes its present form to the Egyptian influence that can be seen in the shape of the minaret and the elegant stairs leading to the balcony and the glass tower.

The Lighthouse of Chania

The Lighthouse of Chania ©Romtomtom/Flick

Public baths in Chania

The concept of the hammam or public bath was introduced in Chania by the Ottomans of Asia Minor. They serve a very important role in the Muslim culture as a meeting place for ritual cleansing. The public baths in Chania were built after the Turkish occupation of the island in 1645. It is obviously one of the top architectural attractions of Chania and has a characteristic Turkish hammam structure with domes and decorative glass which is the only source of natural light.

The Venizelos family graves

One of the most interesting sites around the town of Chania is the place where the members of the Venizeos family are buried. Located at a few kilometers from the city, the tomb offers spectacular views over the port of Chania. The tombs of the statesman Eleftherios Venizelos and his son are set in a beautiful park in the courtyard of a small church.

View from the Tomb of the Venizelos family

View from the Tomb of the Venizelos family ©Tilemahos Efthimiadis/Flick

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