Chania is considered an ideal city to enjoy on foot, to explore each alley, hidden gem, landmark, monument, architectural style and commercial market. The Old Town of Chania is often mentioned in the discussion of including it in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The historical, cultural and architectural wealth of the city is unparalleled. Around every corner, you will discover fascinating, eye-pleasing and mind-challenging treasures. The Egyptian Lighthouse, The Venetian Arsenalia, the Mosque of Kioutsouk Hassan, the Municipal Market and the Municipal Gardens with the tower clock, the Venizelos Tombs and many more city landmarks are there for you to discover.
Chania has been for countless centuries the crossroads of civilizations born in three different continents. And this is evident today in its monuments. From the ancient Minoans and the ancient Greeks, to the Byzantine Empire, the Venetians and the Ottomans, all the prime civilizations of their era left their footprints on the city’s architecture and culture. The Venetians, however, were the ones who most of all realized the strategic importance of Crete in controlling the naval trade in the Mediterranean.
Today, most iconic monuments of the city can be found in a relatively small area in The Old Town, the Venetian Harbour of Chania, and their surroundings. This was the place where the heart of the city was beating for centuries. And in modern times, even after the commercial center of the city moved towards newer neighborhoods, the Old Town is still the beating heart of the romantic side of the city, the place where both visitors and locals gather to unwind and socialize in an environment that seems like it jumped out of the pages of a fairy tale.
Going beyond the silent boarders of the Byzantine Walls that enclose the Old Town, the modern part of the city also has some very interesting spots. The same is true for the rural part of the municipality, where the history of Chania stretches its footprints in valleys and cliffs, in gorges and villages. In the land and the sea all around Chania city, you can find imposing remnants of centuries-old buildings that clearly depict the great importance of Chania through the centuries.
Ancient cities, Venetian and Ottoman fortresses, historic locations, all the monuments in the countryside of the municipality of Chania are eternal reminders of the rich and diverse history of this land. Each one for a particular time in the past. Each one surrounded by myths and legends, which in turn are clarified by archaeological research and historical facts.
Chania is a place that becomes stronger and more resilient from its history. And there is no better way to experience this history by visiting the glorious buildings that were left behind from every era in the long history of the place. Counting more than 4.000 years of human presence, this is a fascinating history journey offered by a City of Many Tales.