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Municipality of Chania
Δήμος Χανίων
Chania (Greece)
(35 ° 31 ′ 0 ″ N, 24 ° 1 ′ 0 ″ E)
Basic data
State : GreeceGreece Greece
Region : Crete
Regional District : Chania
Geographic coordinates : 35 ° 31 '  N , 24 ° 1'  E Coordinates: 35 ° 31 '  N , 24 ° 1'  E
Area : 356.12 km²
Residents : 108,642 (2011)
Population density : 305.1 inhabitants / km²
Community logo:
Community logo of the municipality of Chania
Seat: Chania
LAU-1 code no .: 7401
Parishes : 7 parishes
Local self-government : f127 city districts
17 local communities
Location in the Crete region
File: 2011 Dimos Chanion.png

Chania ( Greek Χανιά ( n. Pl. )) Is a port city on the Greek island of Crete . 53,910 inhabitants live (according to the 2011 census) in the actual core town of the municipality, which is the second largest settlement on the island after Heraklion . At the same time, Chania is the capital of the regional district of the same name, the former prefecture of Chania , which covers the entire west of Crete. Chania was the capital of the island of Crete from 1841 to 1971.

To the east of the urban area of ​​Chania in Souda Bay is the city's ferry port, from which there is a daily connection to Piraeus . The international airport of Chania is located approximately 12 kilometers northeast on a plain of the Akrotiri peninsula .



Port on the Gulf of Chania
Panorama of Chania

The city of Chania is located on the north coast of the island of Crete, around 100 kilometers west of today's island capital, Heraklion . Until 2010, the municipality of Chania was the smallest of the prefecture named after it in terms of area, as it was almost exclusively limited to the urban area. Until 1971, Chania was the administrative seat of the entire island. Today the city is the dominant metropolis of Western Crete with over a third of the inhabitants of the regional district.

The Cretan Sea north of the island forms the Gulf of Chania between the peninsulas Rodopou and Akrotiri , on the southeast side of which the port city was built on the isthmus of Akrotiri . To the east of the isthmus is the Bay of Souda , a natural harbor protected by the Akrotiri peninsula . South of Chania the inland rises steadily and with the mountain range of the White Mountains (Lefka Ori), which can be seen clearly in clear weather, forms a barrier to the south coast of Crete that is only broken by a few pass roads.


The island of Crete is located on the South Aegean arch , an extension of the Dinaric mountain range over the Hellenic mountain range on the Greek mainland to the Taurus Mountains in Asia Minor . These Alpidic mountain formations arose from the geological period of the early Tertiary , which is now known as the paleogene , when the African plate began to push itself under the Eurasian plate due to the continental drift . Even today, the African plate drifts about four centimeters northwards each year, which can occasionally lead to earthquakes in the region.

Crete, located in the subduction zone of the two continental plates, tilts around its north-south axis during geotectonic activities, the west of the island rises while the east sinks slightly. Since the urban area of ​​Chania is located on a plain in the northwest of Crete, the rock layers there are also of a more recent geological date than, for example, those of the White Mountains adjoining to the south . Chania stands on rock and sediment formations from the Young Tertiary or Neogene (around 30 million years old), which date from a time when the northwestern coastal plain was still part of the sea.

Neighboring communities

Until 2010, the municipality of Chania consisted only of the immediate urban area and bordered the municipalities of Akrotiri and Souda in the east and south-east . To the west of the city was the municipality of Nea Kydonia . The suburbs adjoining the closed urban development to the south in the direction of the expressway (New Road) already belonged to the municipality of Eleftherios Venizelos .

Platanias Neighboring communities Apokoronas

With the Kallikratis law of 2010, the municipalities of Akrotiri, Eleftherios Venizelos, Keramia, Nea Kydonia, Souda and Theriso were combined with the city of Chania to form the municipality of Chania. Since then, the municipality has bordered the municipality of Apokoronas in the east, Sfakia in the south and the municipality of Platanias in the west . Chania regained its importance as a port city through the incorporation of Souda. All ferry lines with the advertised destination “Chania” call at the deep natural harbor of Souda Bay (Όρμος Σούδας), the city port of Chania has too little water depth for larger ships.

City structure

Kastelli district

The urban area of ​​Chania is divided into the districts Chalepa, Evraiki, Kastelli, Kumkapi, Nea Chora, Splantzia and Topanas.


Crete has a Mediterranean climate with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. There are significant climatic differences between the different regions of the island. The average temperatures on the south coast are slightly warmer than in the north and those of the mountain regions are generally a bit fresher. There is also less rainfall in the east and south of the island than in the center, west and north. Due to the high mountains of Crete, weather conditions often change quickly, and winds arise that also intensify into a hurricane-like storm.

Chania is located on the western north coast of the island of Crete. The climate here is considered to be temperate and dry and warm. From May to September there is hardly any rain, and the sun shines on 70 percent of the days of the year. In the somewhat cool winter months from November to March, snowfalls are possible in the White Mountains south of Chania, which rarely even reach the plain on the north coast. The snow cover in the mountains remains until around the end of May. The hot and dry summer months mean that the vegetation, which is overgrown by the humid winter and warm spring, withers without artificial irrigation in the plains of the island.

Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Chania
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 15.8 16.5 17.9 21.0 24.7 28.7 30.3 30.0 27.7 23.7 20.9 17.8 O 22.9
Min. Temperature (° C) 9.2 9.2 10.1 12.2 15.2 18.9 20.8 20.8 18.7 15.6 13.1 10.8 O 14.6
Temperature (° C) 11.6 11.8 13.2 16.3 20.1 24.5 26.5 26.1 23.3 19.4 16.1 13.1 O 18.5
Precipitation ( mm ) 122.9 108.6 71.9 31.9 13.9 6.6 0.5 2.7 18.2 82.1 70.9 91.3 Σ 621.5
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 3 5 6th 8th 10 12th 13 12th 10 6th 6th 4th O 7.9
Rainy days ( d ) 15.0 13.7 11.0 6.7 3.5 1.2 0.2 0.3 2.3 8.0 9.5 13.5 Σ 84.9
Water temperature (° C) 16 15th 16 16 19th 22nd 24 25th 24 23 20th 17th O 19.8
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec



The first traces of settlement from the old town district of Kastelli go as far as the Neolithic Age 3400 to 3000  BC. BC back. This makes Chania one of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in Europe. As a city, it was built in the Minoan “pre-palace” period (3000–1900 BC) under the name Kudonija , from which the later ancient name Kydonia (according to the Peutinger table : Cydonia ) was derived. The name Kudonija (ku-do-ni-ja) is documented for the first time in linear B on a clay tablet from Knossos . According to ancient tradition, the city was founded by the mythical King Minos and named after the hero Kydon , son of Apollo and Akakallis , daughter of Minos.

Minoan excavations on the Kastelli hill

In the Minoan epochs of the “new” and “post-palace times” (1600–1100 BC) Kudonija was a flourishing city with large, self-contained houses between streets and squares, and most likely a palace as the center. The fact that no Minoan palace was found in Chania is possibly due to the fact that the settlement was never abandoned and that later generations built their buildings primarily with building materials obtained from older buildings in the city. Kudonija had significant pottery production and trade connections to Egypt , Cyprus and Palestine . Even the time of the destruction of most of the Cretan palaces by the Mycenaeans , the city next to Knossos survived rather unscathed, although it was probably rebuilt, since around 1450 BC. A horizon of destruction is recognizable. Archaeological sites of the Minoan culture are mainly on the Kastelli hill , on 550 m² on the Odos Kanevaro . The necropolis was located in front of the southern and eastern parts of the then city in the Mazali area and in the area of ​​the current stadium.

After 1400 BC However, the Mycenaean culture of mainland Greece dominated. An exchange between the two cultures, the Minoan and the Mycenaean, took place even before the Mycenaean conquest of the island from 1450 BC. Given. Some historians assume that e.g. B. Knossos was not destroyed like other palaces in Crete because there were already a large number of Achaean colonists there, who ensured that the city was handed over quickly. Something similar could also apply to the north-western trading metropolis of Kudonija . One hypothesis even goes for Knossos around 1450 BC. From the takeover of power by a Mycenaean dynasty, which subsequently tried to subjugate all of Crete, with the remaining Minoan palaces being destroyed. This dynasty in turn was founded around 1375 BC. Displaced from the mainland by Mycenaean conquerors.

While the other Minoan palaces were never occupied again after their destruction, Achaean-Mycenaean rulers ruled in Knossos and possibly also in the port city now called Kydonia in the area of ​​today's Chania. It remained a multicultural city ​​even after the gradual decline of the Mycenaean culture and the beginning of the Doric immigration to Crete. In the Odyssey handed down by Homer , which is located in this period, Kydonia is mentioned twice, in Canto 3, line 292, and in Canto Nineteenth, line 176 (in the translation by Johann Heinrich Voss ):

From the third song:

So, however much he hurried, Menelaus was delayed in
order to bury his friend and to offer gifts for the dead.
But there, too, those who sailed through the dark waves, had led
His armored ships to the high mountains of Malea
; then the god, echoing thunder, imposed
the saddest voyage on him, sent him roaring storms,
And the immense waters billowed high like mountains.
Suddenly he scattered the ships; most of them he ended up in Crete,
where the Kydon people of Jardanos live around the banks.
At the Gordynian frontier, in the dark billowing sea,
a smooth rock towers against the urgent floods,
which the mighty south storms on the left mountain before
Phaestus; and the little rock restrains great surging waters.

From the Nineteenth Canto:

Now I will tell you, although you make my bitter suffering
even more bitter; for everyone feels pain, who is
so long as I have been away from his home,
And with woe surrounded so many cities wandered.
But I want to tell you what you ask me.
Crete is a land in the dark billowing seas,
fertile and graceful and flowing all around. There live
where countless people, and their cities are ninety:
peoples of various stem and many languages. There live
Achaeans, Kydons and native Cretans,
Dorians, who are threefold, and noble Pelasgians.
Their kings city is Knossos, where Minos
reigned, who talked to Zeus, the great god, at the age of nine.

In the Protogeometric and Geometric Periods (around 1050–700 BC) and the subsequent Archaic Period (around 700-500 BC), Kydonia developed into one of the most important poles of Western Crete. The most important cities of Crete as well as all of Greece formed small independent city-states (poleis), which often feuded. Still in archaic times, in the year 525 BC BC, Kydonia was newly colonized from Samos . Later settlers from Aegina followed . A second wave of immigration from these two islands began in 431 BC. In the polis. There were also close ties with Cyrene . The new settlers took over the name Kydonia , which has been handed down from the Mycenaean period and means “ quince ”. The classic coins of Kydonia showed the fruit imported from the Middle East to Europe as the city's coat of arms.

Clay figure from Kydonia
(4th to 3rd century BC)

In 429 BC An attack by the Athenian fleet during the Peloponnesian War devastated the coastal area near Kydonia , while the city could not be captured by the Athenians. Competing cities were mostly the polis in the neighborhood such as Aptera , Elyros , Polyrrhenia with its port Phalasarna and Knossos . The war in 220 BC shows that alliances were occasionally entered into with one another. Between Knossos and Lyktos , where Kydonia fought on the side of Knossos .

After a brief alliance between Kydonia and Macedonia , which began in 220 BC. Had intervened in Crete to stabilize the situation, Macedonia lost 196 BC. After the second war against Rome the hegemony over Greece. Independent again, wars broke out again among the rival Cretan cities. 189 BC Kydonia fought against Knossos and Gortyn , 184 BC. The city conquered the Polis Polyrrhenia with the port city of Phalasarna because of disputes over the control of the Dictynnean sanctuary on the Rodopou peninsula . These conflicts did not end until 67 BC. With the occupation of the island by the Roman troops.

Since 69 BC The Roman Empire began to occupy Crete. 67 BC The island became a Roman province . Kydonia was one of the first cities in Crete to come under the control of the empire and was given the status of a free city because of its Roman-friendly attitude. Up to the 3rd century AD, the right to a separate coinage is attested, coins from Kydonia for example depicted a nymph with a wreath and the hero Kýdon suckled by a bitch. The conquest of Crete by the Romans meant the end of the civil wars and the beginning of a long period of peace with economic prosperity. Gortyn, which was allied with Rome when the island was conquered , became the capital of the province of Crete and Cyrenaica ( Creta et Cyrene ) . During the time of Roman rule, the island was gradually Christianized in the 3rd and 4th centuries. Kydonia is mentioned in church sources as the seat of a bishop who was a participant in the Synod of Serdica ( Sofia ) in AD 343/344.

middle Ages

Byzantine and Arab times

One year after the death of Emperor Theodosius I in 394, the Roman Empire was divided in 395 . Kydonia and Crete were in its eastern part, which from 610 onwards was transformed from the Eastern Roman Empire, which was dominated by Latin, to the Byzantine Empire, which was dominated by Greece . At the same time, the constant defensive battles against Slavs and Bulgarians in the north, Sasanids ( Persians ) in the east and Saracens ( Arabs ) in the south and south-east sapped the substance of the Eastern Empire. Most of the cities of ancient civilization were abandoned or shrunk to the size of fortified villages called kastra .

Of Cydonia is little handed down from the first Byzantine period. Archaeological excavations only prove the existence of a large early Christian basilica on the Kastelli hill . In the years 824 to 828 the Saracens finally conquered the island, with Kydonia possibly being destroyed like most of the cities of Crete. It is believed that the conquerors were Arabs who fled to Alexandria after an uprising in the emirate of Córdoba in what is now Spain , and who under their leader, the Emir Abu Hafs Omar , undertook a foray into southern Crete as early as 823. Several attempts to recapture the weakened Byzantine Empire in 825, 826, 828 and 902 were unsuccessful.

Arab conquest of Crete
(depiction in the Chronicle of Ioannis Scylitzes )

The current name of the city of Chania is derived from the time of the Saracen rule over Crete. It should not have been an Arabic name in the origin. Rather, the name of the former suburb Alchanía (after the god Welchanos , or in ancient Greek Hephaestus ), which is recorded on an inscription, was adopted for the settlement that was newly built after the destruction of Kydonia . In Arabic it became Al Hanim , which translates as “hostel”. After the Byzantine reconquest of the island in 960/961 under the general Nikephoros Phokas , later Emperor Nikephoros II, the Arabic-sounding prefix "Al" was replaced by the Greek article "Ta" (plural: die) to Ta Chania , from which later im Latin La Canea was. In any case, the place was only a small, albeit fortified, rural settlement until the first century of the later rule of the Venetians .

After 961, the year of the reintegration of Crete into the Byzantine Empire, the probably destroyed Hellenistic city wall of Kydonia around the Kastelli hill was replaced by a new fortification in order to be able to fend off further Arab attacks. Many soldiers of Nikophoros Phokas settled in Crete, and Greek settlers also came from other parts of the empire to compensate for the loss of population due to the consequences of the war and emigration during the rule of the Arabs. From 1082 onwards, Emperor Alexios I Komnenos increasingly settled noble families on the island, to whom large estates and privileges were transferred. Nothing more has been handed down about the place Chania from this time, apart from the regular mentioning in the minutes of church synods. The second Byzantine epoch of Crete ended after the capture of Constantinople on April 13, 1204 by the crusaders of the Venetian-financed Fourth Crusade under the leadership of the Piedmontese margrave Bonifatius of Montferrat , who sold the island to the Venetians to settle the war debts in 1210 for 10,000 silver marks .

Venetian time

The Republic of Venice first had to fight against the Ligurian Genoa and the Cretan population for dominance over the island. The Genoese, rivaling Venice, managed to occupy parts of Crete from 1207 under Enrico il Pescatore . After the expulsion of the Genoese in 1212 and the occupation of the entire island by 1218, with constant revolts by the local population and attempts at reconquest by Byzantium, the new rulers of the island settled Venetians from the mother city to consolidate their rule. According to various sources, it was between 3,000 and 10,000 people, including members of many aristocratic families. As La Canea, Chania was initially the administrative seat of the Dorsoduro exarchate , later of the Canea district . Many Venetians also came to La Canea , who initially settled on the Kastelli hill, now known as Castel Vecchio , within the Byzantine city walls, and later also outside the old fortifications in the newly emerging residential district of Vourgo . Several new fountains and an aqueduct were built, and stately buildings of the Venetian nobility were built in the center. The main street La Corsa and the churches of Santa Maria and Duomo date from this period .

Canea Harbor

With the increase in population, the year 1252 is considered to be the re-establishment of the town as a city. After the Genoese wrested La Canea from the Venetians in 1263, the latter fortified the area around Castel Vecchio with a new wall after the reconquest 22 years later . From 1320 onwards the construction of the port began by filling a mole . Through him, La Canea became the most important economic and political connection between Crete and Venice, hence the nickname Chania at the time as "Venice of Crete". Socially, however, the establishment of the Venetian feudal system and the attempt to decisively restrict orthodoxy led to numerous uprising movements. In a period of two centuries, 27 larger or smaller, locally limited surveys of a social and national character are mentioned.

During the 450 years of Venice's rule over the island of Crete, the population fluctuated very strongly. During the period of conquest and uprising from around 1211 to 1300, Crete had barely more than 50,000 inhabitants. To compensate for the labor shortage in La Canea , Venice arranged in 1302 that anyone who did not know their feudal lord should automatically be a slave to the commune. However, the population increased again afterwards, probably falling again during the uprising of the Venetian settlers (1363 to 1366) until it reached a level of about 100,000 people around 1400, one in five of whom lived in the cities. A century later, around 1500, there were probably around 200,000 inhabitants on the island.

The majority of the Greek Orthodox population faced a Catholic society of the Venetian upper class, consisting of feudal lords as well as civil and military administrations. Their bishop was appointed in Venice, as was the military commander, the castellan. The four highest councilors of Crete were initially obliged to spend their second year in office as rectors of La Canea or Retimo , today's Rethymno , in a fixed cycle , while two each were in Candia , today Heraklion. It was not until 1306 that an annually newly elected rector officiated in Canea . The important posts of the head of the arsenal, known as admiral, were also given to Venetians, mostly nobles, but occasionally also non-nobles, which was due to the low salary that was raised in 1409. Some castellans owned wineries near the city and fought over their property. Complicated or significant legal cases were settled in Venice, less significant ones on the spot, with a correspondence office whose board of directors was sent from Venice. The same was true of court and palace clerks. The castellans of the neighboring islands, such as Cerigo, had to report to La Canea at the end of their term of office and to remain available in the city for a month.

Similar to Venice, a police force led by the Domini de nocte or Domini de die ("Lords of the Night" / "Lords of the Day") ensured safety on the streets. A prison was also available there. To supply the population and the fleet, three granaries for grain were built as early as 1331. Nevertheless, the small feudal lords of Retimo and La Canea complained together in Venice in 1345 that the prices for their wheat were too low and that this endangered their existence. But Venice's economic policy was so fixated on the mother city that it was not until the settler uprising - from which Canea stayed away at least until September 1363 - that it prompted belated relief.

Venetian port of Chania

Even before the Ottomans conquered Constantinople in 1453, Crete was considered to be highly endangered. So they did not hesitate to send convicted criminals into exile here, provided that they were nobles. In one case, a murderer who could not be convicted despite torture was deported to La Canea . In 1456 the Council of Ten took sharp action against Giacomo Foscari, who is said to have exchanged encrypted letters with the Sultan asking Mehmet to send a fleet to La Canea . In 1462 another conspiracy broke out under the leadership of a Siphi Vlastos. Venice always distrusted the numerous refugees, who increasingly connected with each other.

The culture of the Italian city-republic could not last long without the permanent presence of Venice on Crete and its Venetian settlers, which were small compared to the majority of the Greek population, which seems to be due to the fact that after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453 there were many Greek refugees from the Byzantine imperial city , including aristocrats, clergy and artists, settled on the island and helped the Greco-Byzantine art and culture to a new bloom. For example, a new artistic direction, the so-called Cretan School , emerged from the traditional Byzantine painting mixed with elements of the Italian Renaissance . Michail Damaskinos, born in La Canea in 1530, was one of its most important representatives .

Modern times

At the beginning of the 16th century, the expansion efforts of the Ottoman Empire threatened the island of Crete for the first time . For this reason, the construction of a new fortification with five bastions, a wide moat and the fortress ( Firkas in Greek ) at the port was planned and started for La Canea , which enclosed the city in a rectangular shape. The designer was the Veronese architect Michele Sanmicheli . Work on the approximately two-kilometer-long outer fortress belt around the rapidly growing city, during which the ancient theater that had been preserved until then, was destroyed, dragged on until 1590. In these years, which can be described as the heyday of the Venetian La Canea , most of the palazzi that are still preserved today were built and the port, including the large arsenals (neoria) , shipyards for the storage and repair of ships, received its present appearance.

Ottoman time

In the meantime, the Ottomans had temporarily conquered parts of central and western Crete from 1538 under the leadership of Admiral Chaireddin Barbarossa . This first attack came to a halt before the walls of Candia . On June 25, 1645, at the beginning of the war for Crete, an Ottoman army of 60,000 men landed on 400 ships (according to other information 123 ships) west of La Canea in the Bay of Gogna , near the Moni Odigitrias Gonias monastery near Kolymbari and took in the The next night and the following day, the fortress island of San Todero (Agii Theodori) in front of the city of Canea in the Gulf of Chania . After almost two months of siege from June 26th 1645 under the leadership of the Beylerbey of Rumili , Hassan Pascha ( Turkish Küçük Hasan Paşa, 'little Hassan Pascha'), La Canea surrendered on August 17th and fell as one of the first cities in Crete the hands of the Turkish conquerors. According to the terms of surrender, the Venetians were granted free travel on five ships on August 22, 1645. In 1645, the year the city was captured, the Muslim Turks began building a mosque at the port, the Hassan Pasha Mosque , now known as the Janissary Mosque, a sight of Chania. Other mosques were created through the rededication of former churches immediately after the Ottomans came to power.

Canea fortress at the time of the Candia War (1651)
Port in Ottoman times

The city, now called Hanya in Turkish , became the administrative seat of the entire island in 1651, as the actual capital of Crete, Candia , withstood the siege by the Ottoman troops for 21 years. The seat of the pasha and thus the new island capital (although nominally only from 1841) remained Hanya even after the capture of Candias in 1669. The fortress islands Gramvousa and Souda fell into Ottoman hands only in 1692 and 1715, the former when the Venetians attempted Hanya recapture. The cityscape also changed under the Ottoman rule. Churches were converted into mosques and given minarets, public baths ( hammams ), and fountains, and the Turkish immigrants, mainly in the districts of Kastelli and Splantzia , built numerous large private houses with wooden cores. Many Christians, on the other hand, left Crete to escape the oppression of the new rulers and found refuge in the Ionian Islands .

During the Ottoman occupation, there were several uprisings of the Greek Orthodox population of the island, which were suppressed by the Ottoman Empire, the largest in 1770 under Daskalogiannis . In 1821, the year the Greek Revolution began , many Christians were killed in Hanya and the Bishop of Kissamos , Melhisethek Thespotakis, was hanged in Splantzia . The uprising of Greece seemed to have failed when the viceroy of Egypt, Muhammad Ali Pasha , supported the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II in suppressing the revolution from 1824 to 1827. However, with the intervention of the great powers Great Britain , France and Russia , which destroyed the Egyptian fleet at the Battle of Navarino , the Ottoman ruler was forced to sign the London Protocol of February 3, 1830, by which the Greek state, if only on small area, newly created. After that it was the endeavor of the Greek population of Crete to bring about a union with the mother country. Until 1840, however, the island was subject to the Egyptian viceroy, who then had to return it, including Syria and Palestine , to the Ottomans after the intervention of Great Britain, Russia, Prussia and Austria .

After the Great Cretan Uprising from 1866 to 1868, in which the Arkadi monastery was destroyed, the Cretan question once again preoccupied the great powers. But it was only after the defeat of the Ottomans in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877/78 that Christians were guaranteed certain rights. The will for freedom was unbroken, however, and so there were uprisings again in 1889 and from May 1896. The latter was supported by independent Greece with regular troops and voluntary associations, which occupied Crete on February 21, 1897, which led to the Turkish-Greek War . On the Profitis Ilias , a 122 meter high mountain in the east of the urban area of ​​Chania, the Greek flag was first raised in 1897. It is therefore of outstanding national importance for the Cretans. The war ended in a military victory for the Ottomans. The Greek troops under Crown Prince Constantine were decisively defeated in both Crete and Thessaly .

Despite this, Crete was given extensive autonomy through the pressure of the major European powers in the peace treaty of December 4, 1897 . The island was declared an international protectorate under the appointment of Prince George of Greece as High Commissioner. Until the latter took office on December 9, 1898 in the capital Chania, an executive committee of Cretan revolutionaries under Eleftherios Venizelos took over the administration. Venizelos, born in Mournies , three kilometers south of Chania, in 1864 as the leader of the Cretan enosis movement, had achieved autonomy on the island with the great powers in 1897. Under Prince Georg he was Minister of Justice in the first government until 1901. The brief partial independence of Crete from 1898 onwards gave Chania the nominal capital of an independent state. As a result of the seat of government, numerous diplomats settled in the Chalepa district until 1913 .

Greek time

Dismissed in the dispute over the "national question", Eleftherios Venizelos sat at the head of the opposition from 1901 , which increasingly openly called for the unification of Crete with the Greek mainland. A coup in 1905 forced Prince George to resign, and in 1908 it was decided to unify the island with Greece, which was not recognized internationally until the Treaty of London in 1913. Eleftherios Venizelos became Greek Prime Minister in 1910 and together with King Constantine in 1913 hoisted the Greek flag over Fort Firkas at the Venetian port of Chania. Today the municipality with the capital Mournies bordering on the south of Chania is named after him, and to the east of the closed development of the urban area, on the Profitis Ilias , there is a monument to him and his son Sofoklis Venizelos , the Greek Prime Minister from 1943 to 1952. Both are also buried there.

Classicist market hall
Market hall (interior view)

Even after the unification with Greece, Chania remained the seat of the administration of Crete until 1971. The city was already flourishing during the time of Cretan independence from 1898. After the annexation to Greece, the cross-shaped classical market hall (agora) was built between 1911 and 1913 . It was based on the French model of the market hall in Marseille and became another of Chania's landmarks. Parts of the city moat and the old Piatta Forma bastion were chosen as the location . Unfortunately, the Venetian city gate Porta-Retimiota fell victim to the construction of the hall . The shape of the city also changed so that the churches that had been converted into mosques were restored to their original purpose as Christian places of worship.

In 1920, against the backdrop of the Greco-Turkish War from 1919 to 1922, the minaret of the Hassan Pasha Mosque in the harbor was even torn down. Due to the population exchange between Greece and Turkey after 1923 on the basis of the Treaty of Lausanne , in which the remaining Turks left Crete, the building was no longer needed as a mosque. Today it is used for exhibition purposes. After the lost war against Turkey, Greece became a republic through a referendum in April 1924. Eleftherios Venizelos was Prime Minister several times in the following years, under him the Turkish-Greek friendship treaty was concluded in October 1930. Pressed into the opposition, he had to leave Greece in 1935 after an unsuccessful uprising in Crete against the royalists . The country returned to the monarchy after another referendum on October 12, 1935 .

Greece, which was formally neutral at the beginning of the Second World War, proved to be a de facto ally of the Western powers through the acceptance of the British guarantee in 1939, the non-renewal of the pact with Italy of 1929 and the support of Great Britain for the war economy . General Metaxas , who ruled Greece dictatorially, refused an unacceptable Italian ultimatum to surrender on October 28, 1940 and was able to push the attacking Italian troops back beyond the Albanian border. The Greek government now asked Great Britain for support, whose first advance commandos landed on Crete on November 1, 1940 from Alexandria in Egypt .

On April 6, 1941, the German Reich intervened in the fighting as an ally of Italy. In the course of the Marita operation , the Greek associations and the British expeditionary force were defeated and all of Greece, with the exception of Crete, was occupied. After the capitulation on April 21, 1941, the Greek government under the new Prime Minister Emmanouil Tsouderos and King George II left the mainland on April 23 and tried to continue the resistance against the Axis powers with British support from Crete . Chania was the seat of government of independent Greece until May 1941.

German occupation

German attack on Crete
Fight in Souda Bay
German airborne operation

On Tuesday, May 20th at around 7:15 am, the airborne battle for Crete began , under the German name company Merkur, until then the largest airborne company in history. The fighting was mainly concentrated in the area around what was then the capital of Crete. The old town of Chania was badly damaged during the first attacks by German bombers. Already on May 22, German troops conquered the airfield of Maleme 15 kilometers west of Chania and could expand it on the following day a viable base of operations.

Despite the heavy losses of the invaders, the personnelly superior allied associations of the Greeks, British, Australians and New Zealanders had nothing of equal value to oppose the air superiority of the German armed forces . With the extension of the landing head at Maleme, the final military decision was made in favor of the German attackers on May 26th, and on the night of May 27th the British high command made the decision to evacuate Crete. On May 27th, the capital Chania and on May 28th the port in Souda Bay fell into German hands. On May 29, 1941, Rethymno surrendered.

The Allied troops withdrew through the mountains to the south coast, especially in the Sfakia area , from where it was possible to disembark almost 17,000 British and Empire troops to Egypt. On June 1, 1941, the last Allied units and with them the Greek government, which had fled from Chania through the Samaria Gorge , left Crete. Many Greeks and British who had not reached an evacuation ship, however, remained on the island and often hid with the support of the local population. Around 15,000 Allied soldiers were captured by Germany in the airborne battle for Crete. The prisoner-of-war camps were located west of Chania in the area around Galatas and Agii Apostoli.

After the island was completely taken, Crete was divided into two zones of occupation. While Italian troops ruled in the far east, roughly corresponding to the Lasithi prefecture , until 1943, most of Crete with the central areas and the west came under German military administration. It took its seat in the Villa Andromeda in Chania, a neoclassical villa built in 1870 in the Chalepa district, about one kilometer from the city center, which had already served as the German consulate between 1897 and 1912.

Occupation zones of Greece
red: German Empire , blue: Italy , green: Bulgaria

However, many locals did not surrender to the occupying power, but continued the war from underground, supported by the British secret service, as so-called Andarten (partisans). In autumn 1942 they formed the nationally liberal- oriented resistance organization Ethnikis Organosis Kritis (EOK, "National Organization of Crete"). In the course of the occupation, the clashes intensified, which is why the German side temporarily stationed up to 50,000 members of the Wehrmacht on the island. Partisan battles that were bloody on both sides were followed by cruel retaliatory actions by German troops against the civilian population, war crimes in which, among other things, 40 villages on the island were destroyed and most of the inhabitants were killed.

Residents of Crete who were not assigned to the Andarten were also victims of German crimes during the occupation. On May 29, 1944, units under the command of the German commander of the "Fortress Crete", General Bruno Bräuer , surrounded the Jewish quarter of Evraiki in the city of Chania. Refugee residents were shot. Almost 300 Jews were initially brought to the "Agia" prison and were to be deported to German concentration camps on the transport ship Tanais at the beginning of June . The Tanais was torpedoed by a British submarine while crossing and sank. Almost all Jewish prisoners, as well as around 600 Greek and Italian prisoners, perished. Only four of the Jewish residents of Chania are said to have survived.

Retreat area for German troops in Crete (late 1944)

Chania remained occupied by German troops until May 23, 1945. In autumn 1944 they withdrew with about 12,000 soldiers to the "core fortress West Crete", the area around Chania, and from there they undertook individual missions against Cretan partisans until June 1945. After the surrender of the German army, the "core fortress" was to be taken over by British troops. Soon after their arrival on the island, they found themselves fighting the communist- led Greek People's Liberation Army (gr. Ellinikos / Ethnikos Laikos Apelevtherotikos Stratos , ELAS ), the military wing of the National Liberation Front (gr. Ethniko Apelevtherotiko Metopo , ΕΑΜ ). They left their weapons to the Germans so that they would not fall into the hands of the Cretans, and even had German armored vehicles give them escort protection.

The Cretans viewed this turn of their previous allies as treason. So the fight against the German troops on Crete turned seamlessly into the civil war , which was waged between the Greek government, the British and nationally-minded forces on the one hand and left-wing liberals, socialists and communists of ELAS on the other. The civil war hit Crete to a far lesser extent than the Greek mainland. Traditionally, a large part of the Cretans was anti-monarchist, so that the return of King George II, supported by the British with military force, did not find broad support outside the EAM either. The arguments concerned, among other things, treason and collaboration allegations. The revolt ordered by the national leadership of the EAM could not be carried out in Crete. In April 1947 the communists tried again to revolt. The Cretan Democratic Army, organized by Giannis Podias, was disarmed within a few months, and its leader Podias was shot on July 2, 1947.

post war period

The reconstruction after World War II and the civil war led to brisk construction activity in Chania. This mainly affected the old town, about a third of which was destroyed by the German bombing raids in 1941. In 1965, the entire old town within the old fortress walls was placed under monument protection. However , this could not prevent the sprawl of urban sprawl around the city.

A NATO missile launching base was set up on the neighboring Akrotiri peninsula and large restricted military areas have been designated, which to this day still arouse public displeasure.

ANEK Lines ferry

The sinking of the ferry Iraklion on the voyage from Piraeus to Chania on December 8, 1966 with 241 deaths caused the popular Archbishop of Kastelli-Kissamos, Irineos , to take the initiative to found a "Cretan" shipping line. The ANEK Lines based in Chania were founded by issuing people's shares . The great success of this company, which initially started ferry operations from Chania and Heraklion and since 1989 has also served international routes between Italy and Greece and has acquired numerous holdings and subsidiaries, not only strengthened the self-confidence of the Cretans (it is no coincidence that in Heraklion in 1972 similar Concept that Minoan Lines founded), but also ensures fast transport routes for the distribution of the food produced in West Crete.

In 1971 Chania lost the status of "Capital of Crete", which it had held since 1898, to the much larger Heraklion. A number of neoclassical embassy and diplomatic villas in the Chalepa district have been preserved as evidence of the capital era.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Crete, the German Chancellor Helmut Kohl met the Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis in his hometown of Chania in 1991. On this occasion, calls for outstanding German reparations payments were made, which, however, were not supported by the Greek government.

Population development

Chania has seen rapid population growth since the end of foreign rule. In the period after the Second World War, a major cause was the rural exodus, which led to a migration from predominantly agricultural areas to the centers on the coast throughout Crete. This increase in population, reinforced by the tourist development and associated with lively, sometimes “wild” building activity, not only led to a significant increase in population density in the actual urban area, but also to urbanization and urban sprawl in the surrounding area.

Population development - City of Chania and the surrounding area
Population figures
year 1881 1900 1928 1940 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001
City of
(Christians: 3,500
Muslims: 9,500)
20,000 26,000 29,000 38,467 47,451 50,077 53,377
Swell: Website: Greaves: Greek Islands, 1966 Greek Travel Pages Extra 2006 yearbook
Chania with the
urban area
37,788 49,058 53,026
Source: R. Clogg: History of Greece in the 19th and 20th Centuries, Cologne 1997, p. 294



Politically, the Chaniotes, as the heirs of the still highly revered Eleftherios Venizelos, see themselves mostly linked to the center-left. The anti-monarchist legacy of Venizelos was particularly evident in the 1974 referendum, when only a tiny minority of 7.30% voted in favor of maintaining the monarchy; Of the 56 voting districts in Greece, only 5.9% of the population was monarchists in neighboring Rethymno.

The nephew of Venizelos from Chania, Konstantinos Mitsotakis, whose father and grandfather were already MPs, was first elected to parliament in 1946 as a member of the Chania constituency. Until 1981 he was able to secure his re-election in ten further elections, with the help of the patronage and clientele system that was still widespread in Crete, even after he had turned to the conservative camp in 1965, was referred to as a "renegade" ( Greek αποστάτης ) and for little beloved parties. However, after he had taken over the party leadership of the conservative Nea Dimokratia, he could no longer be certain of a majority in Chania; he therefore ran for office from 1985 in Thessaloniki and Athens.

Since 1974 the socialist PASOK - as in all of Crete - has won the largest share of the votes in all parliamentary elections, more clearly at the level of the prefectural district than in the city of Chania. Nevertheless, in the 2007 elections, the conservative Nea Dimokratia (ND) won more seats than PASOK for the first time. The constituency is represented by the MPs Manolis Skoulakis (PASOK), Manousos Voulidakis (ND), Christos Markogiannakis (ND) and Stylianos Nikiforakis (ND).

Parliamentary elections 1996–2007
Chania Prefecture
Seats in Parliament and percentage of votes cast
Municipality of Chania
Share of votes cast
year 1996 2000 2004 2007 year 1996 2000 2004 2007
share of the vote




Nea Dimokratia Seats
share of the vote




KKE Seats
share of the vote




Synaspismos / SYRIZA Seats
share of the vote




LAOS Seats
share of the vote



share of the vote




Source: Information from the Greek Ministry of the Interior


Kiriakos Virvidakis (* 1948 in Chania), professor of medicine, athlete and sports official was elected mayor of the city of Chania in October 2002. He is a member of the liberal - conservative party Nea Dimokratia (Gr. Νέα Δημοκρατία, "New Democracy ").

Culture and sights


Ekklisia tis Trimartyris

Cathedral of the Three Martyrs

The main Greek Orthodox church of Chania, the "Cathedral of the Three Martyrs" (Εκκλησία της Τριμάρτυρης), is located on Platia Athinagora in the Splantzia district with the main entrance to Odos Chalidon Street , the border with the Evraiki district. The church, a three-aisled basilica with a raised central nave , was built on the foundations of an older two-aisled church that was converted into a soap factory during the Ottoman period. The owner of the factory, the wealthy Turkish merchant Mustafa Pascha Giritli , gave the building to the Christians of Chania when he took office as Grand Vizier ( Prime Minister ) of the Ottoman Empire.

The church, consecrated in 1860, was badly damaged during the Turkish-Greek War in 1897 and was rebuilt with the financial help of the Russian Tsar Nicholas II . The architecture of the church building shows Venetian influences, which is expressed in portals, gables and cornices. On the northwest side, the cathedral has a three-story bell tower. The two side aisles are roofed by cross domes. Inside, on the eastern inner wall, there are several large wall paintings by the artists G. Kaliterakis, G. Stavrakis, E. Tripolitakis and D. Kokotsis.

Agios Nikolaos

Built around 1320 as San Nicolò , today the Greek Orthodox Church on Platia 1821 originally belonged to the Agios Nikolaos Monastery , a Dominican monastery from the 13th century. The Ottoman ruler Sultan Ibrahim converted the Venetian building into a mosque and gave it his name.

Even after the Ibrahim Mosque was renamed Agios Nikolaos Church , the church retained the mosque's minaret in place of the right bell tower, which, in conjunction with the campanile on the left, gives it a curious appearance. The facade shows a classicistic-neo-Byzantine style. A Gothic choir has been preserved inside . Otherwise, the interior offers a mixture of different architectural styles, from Tuscan and Ionic column arrangements to the classical coffered ceiling .

Agii Anargyri

The 16th century church on Nikiforou Epskopou Street was the only open Orthodox church within the city walls in Ottoman times.

San Rocco

San Rocco

The small Renaissance-style Venetian church consecrated to Saint Roch is located at Platia 1821 , at the corner of Daskalogianni . According to an inscription, the one-room chapel was completed in 1630, but unfortunately it is in a poor state of construction today.

Cathedral of Our Lady Assumption into Heaven

The Roman Catholic cathedral Cathedral Assumption of Mary of the Diocese of Crete in Chania was built as a three-aisled basilica with neoclassical and Renaissance features and inaugurated 1879th


Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum of Chania presented since 1962 in the former Catholic monastery church of the Franciscan Order of San Francesco in the street Chalidon 21 finds West Crete different eras of Prehistory and Early History of the island. The three-aisled Gothic building of the hall church dates from 1606 to 1617 and was expanded by around a third during the Ottoman period as the Jusuf Pascha mosque in the Gothic style.

The exhibits in the museum are arranged chronologically. In the first section (3rd and 2nd millennium BC) Neolithic ceramics, Minoan stone vases, gems, ceramics, script relics on hardened clay in linear letters A and B, clay sarcophagi and Minoan gold jewelry are on display. The second section offers an overview of the settlement of the west of the island from the geometric to the classical Greek to the Roman epoch. This period is documented by Greek and Roman sculptures, Hellenistic gold jewelry, glass from the Hellenistic and Roman times, terracottas, clay vessels and Roman marble portraits and statues. Some Roman floor mosaics from Chania (3rd century AD), which depict mythological scenes, are particularly interesting.

New archaeological museum

After several years of construction, the new archaeological museum planned by the architect Theofanis Bobotis was opened in the Chalepa district a few kilometers east of the old town. The new building occupies an area of ​​more than 5500 square meters and will contain a permanent exhibition, a reading room, an amphitheater, laboratories and a warehouse.

Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Collection (Byzantine Museum)

The Byzantine and post-Byzantine collection consists of archaeological finds from the prefecture of Chania from the period of the early Christian years to the Ottoman rule. It is located in a former monastery on 82 Theotokopoulou street west of the port entrance, within the old Venetian fortifications of Fort Firkas . Representative showpieces from the collection are exhibited in a small museum, which is located in the restored Venetian-Gothic church of San Salvatore from the 16th century. Mosaics, inscriptions, wall paintings, pictures, architectural chisel work, ceramics and small art as well as coins are shown in chronological order.

Maritime Museum (Nautical Museum)

The Maritime Museum, located at the entrance of the former Venetian Fort Firkas west of the port on the Akti Koundourioti , uses model ships, various instruments and ship fittings, documents on naval warfare from antiquity to the present, pictures, photographs and objects discovered on the seabed of Greek shipbuilding. The exhibits include the Minoa , a seaworthy reconstruction of a Minoan ship from the Bronze Age. Furthermore, the museum, founded in 1973, contains models of the Venetian city ensemble and individual buildings, such as the shipyards that can still be seen today. Other sections show the role of Chania during the autonomy of Crete and the annexation to Greece in 1913 as well as exhibits from the time of the German conquest and occupation of the island from 1941 to 1945.

The Firkas Bastion was used as a prison by the Venetian and Ottoman rulers and also by the German occupiers during World War II. Eleftherios Venizelos and King Constantine hoisted the Greek flag on the bastion in 1913 to unite Crete with Greece.

Folklore Museum

The Folklore Museum is located in the former Catholic Church of Chania City at 46b Chalidon Street .

historical Museum

The Historical Museum of the City of Chania is housed together with the Historical Archives of Crete in a neoclassical villa from around 1900 at I. Sfakianaki street 20 next to the city park. In addition to exhibits about Eleftherios Venizelos on the ground floor, paintings, weapons and flags about and from the Greek struggle for freedom against Turkish rule and the German armed forces are shown. Some everyday objects are strewn in. The museum rooms are used for archival work; only one exhibition room is accessible via Venizelos on the ground floor.

War museum

The War Museum is located near the History Museum at the intersection of I. Sfakianaki and Tzanakaki Streets near the City Garden. It is a branch of the War Museum in Athens . In the building of the museum, built in 1870 as barracks and designed by the Italian architect Makouzo, rare photographic material as well as numerous weapons and other objects from the battles against the Turks and the German occupation forces during the Second World War are on display. The museum is currently closed for a longer period of time.



Market hall

The market hall of Chania ( Agora , Greek Αγορά "market place"), a cross-shaped neoclassical building on Platia Sofoukli Venizelou , dates from the years 1911 to 1913. The cast iron building with an open roof was designed based on the model of the market hall in Marseille .

Etz Hayyim Synagogue

Since the Middle Ages, Chania had two synagogues: Beth Shalom and Etz Hayyim . The former was destroyed in the bombing in May 1941, the Etz Hayyim Synagogue was first looted by German soldiers after the deportation of the Jews from Chania on May 20, 1944, and later handed over to the Greeks, who destroyed parts of the building and carried out renovations. In the post-war period the building fell into disrepair. An earthquake in 1995 that destroyed parts of the ceiling caused further damage. With the support of the Jewish Heritage Program in New York and the Central Council of Jewish Congregations in Greece, the synagogue was restored in 1996 and reopened in 1999.

The Etz Hayyim Synagogue is located in Parodos Kondylaki , a cul- de-sac in the former Jewish quarter of Chania Evraiki . In addition to the actual synagogue room , it includes a stone basin (mihkve) that women used to wash clean, a garden with four preserved graves of rabbis from the 18th and 19th centuries and a small library.



The lighthouse in the east at the port entrance ( Faros , Greek Φάρος "lighthouse"), extensively restored and stabilized in recent years, was built in 1830 during the brief Egyptian occupation of Crete on the foundations of the old Venetian lighthouse at the pier. In the 19th century it had a pointed conical roof, which gave it the appearance of a minaret even more than it does today . The roof was later replaced by a glass cabin for the electric beacon . On August 31, 2006, the completion of the renovation of the lighthouse was celebrated with a harbor festival.

Hassan Pasha Mosque

Named in honor of Küçük Hasan Pascha, the first Turkish garrison leader Chania, and also known as the Janissary Mosque after the former Ottoman elite troops , the dome at the Venetian harbor was built shortly after the Turkish conquest of Chania in 1645. The lateral porticos with the seven small domes on the north and west side are later additions from 1880 onwards in place of originally roofless arcades . The former minaret was demolished around 1920.

The mosque of Küçük Hasan ("little Hassan") was designed by an Armenian architect in the classic style of a single-dome mosque. A burial place for pashas and janissaries was set up in their courtyard . In 1923, when the Islamic-Turkish population group was expelled from Crete as part of the Treaty of Lausanne , the building was no longer used as a mosque. After being used as a warehouse, museum and information office for the Greek Tourism Organization and a restoration in 1998, the former church is now used as a space for changing art exhibitions.


Arsenals in the fishing port

The Venetian port ( Limani , Greek Λιμάνι "port") was created in the 14th century by filling a mole, but was of little importance due to the shallow water depth and insufficient shielding against the north winds. Today's main port of Chania was built at an early stage in the natural protection of Souda Bay, four kilometers southeast of the city.

The arsenals (Neoria) , stone halls with lead-covered barrel vaults at the fishing port, east of the entrance to the Venetian port, were built in 1497. More were built on the eastern quay in the 17th century. Seven of the buildings on the Südkai have been preserved, but today they are in a poor state of construction. Two of the originally five arsenals are still standing on the east quay , which in their total number of former 23 buildings were used for shipbuilding and winter storage of the galleys, as well as a depot for war material.

In the Sabbionara Bastion , east of the harbor, you can see the seaworthy replica of a Minoan ship, the Minoa , and an exhibition about its construction, in which only materials and techniques from the Bronze Age were used.

Harbor view from the east


Profitis Iliad

The memorial with the graves of the politicians Eleftherios Venizelos (1864-1936) and his son Sofoklis Venizelos (1894-1964) is located on the 122 meter high hill in the northeast of the urban area, outside the closed development on the border with the municipality of Akrotiri . In 1913, as the Greek Prime Minister, the former played a key role in the annexation of his home island of Crete to the motherland; his son was Prime Minister of Greece from 1943 to 1952.

The Greek flag was raised for the first time on the Profitis Ilias in 1897 during the Turkish-Greek War (1896/97), the occasion of which was an uprising of the Greek Orthodox majority of the population of Crete against Turkish rule. The Cretans underlined their demand for the island to be connected to the Greek state. The major European powers were opposed to this, taking into account the interests of the Ottoman Empire, and besieged the rebels who had withdrawn to the Akrotiri peninsula with a fleet .

On February 9, 1897, the Profitis Ilias began to be bombarded by the ships of the great powers commanded by the Italian sub-admiral Canevaro. The flagpole on which the Greek flag was waving was hit several times, but was put up again by a soldier named Spyros Kayales-Kayaledakis on the Cretan side. After the mast was destroyed on the third hit, it took the flag and demonstratively held it in the air, whereupon the order went to the fleet to stop the fire. Today a memorial next to the graves of the Venizelos family on the Profitis Ilias commemorates the deed of Spyros Kayales-Kayaledakis, who became a national hero.

German war memorial

War memorial for fallen German paratroopers. Recorded in February 1973

On the old road to Kissamos, the "Old Road", and about one kilometer outside the city limits of Chania, the paratrooper memorial stood from 1941 to 2001 in its original form. It was built during the German occupation and was dedicated to the 2nd Battalion of the German Airborne Assault Regiment, which was significantly involved in the conquest of Crete in the Chania area with high losses . The inscription on the base reads: “II. Battalion Assault Regiment / In the fight on Crete from May 20-28, 1941 / Malemes, Galatas, Kastelli, Chania / Thanks are due to you dead who, true to your oath, gave life to our Greater Germany ". After the war, the swastika under the eagle's claws was encased in concrete, but the monument itself remained. The eagle on the base of the monument has been missing since winter 2001 due to storm damage. Damage and graffiti on the plinth with calls for reparations are evidence of the political differences that still exist. In Crete, the monument is called To Germaniko Pouli (“the German bird”) - this is also the name of the nearest bus station - or To kako pouli (“the bad bird”).

The "hand monument"

To the northwest behind the Firkas bastion is the "Hand Monument", which commemorates the sinking of the Heraklion ferry between Piraeus and Crete on December 8, 1966, when more than 200 passengers drowned. The accident gave rise to the founding of the Cretan shipping company ANEK Lines .


The city park with wild goat enclosure, open-air cinema and cafés is located in the new town, between the streets Andrea Papandreou and Tzanakaki .

Economy and Infrastructure

Tourism and transport

Venetian harbor at night

In addition to agriculture, tourism has become the second important economic factor. Under the military government in the 1970s, the construction of large hotel complexes was supported by generous government loans. In the 1980s, the explosive increase in air tourism resulted in high growth rates. In western Crete, however, mass tourism has developed more moderately than between Heraklion and Aghios Nikolaos, for example. Only 20% of air travel is handled via Chania Airport and 80% via Heraklion Airport .

West side of the port

The coast in the west of Chania (with attractive sandy beaches) has been built up by a band of hotels, restaurants and other tourist facilities, but it is more small buildings than large complexes. Since the mid-1990s, mass tourism has stagnated, which is explained by the decline in guest satisfaction with the price-performance ratio, the service and the standard of the accommodation. Efforts to focus on better quality instead of quantity and to expand the tourist offer , e.g. through agrotourism , wellness holidays, hiking trips and improvement of private accommodation, are developing, but are not yet very widespread in relation to the classic mass tourism hotel offer.

The construction of the "New Road" (Autobahn 90) opens up the entire length of the north coast of Crete after decades of construction. With the nearby Souda, Chania has one of the largest ports in the Aegean Sea.

Public facilities

Historical archive of Crete

The Historical Archive is located together with the Historical Museum in a neoclassical villa from around 1900 at I. Sfakianaki street 20 . The Regional Archives of the Prefectures of Crete, under the Ministry of Education and part of the General Archives of the State, was established in 1920 with its headquarters in Chania. Today it houses around 700,000 historical documents, including from private collections. The historical archive includes the official correspondence of the Cretan revolutions, the archives of the Cretan fighters, the Turkish administration, the central translation office of Crete, the government of Crete and the German occupation, as well as administrative, judicial and ecclesiastical archives, a large photographic archive with around 3,000 photographs, a full archive of the Cretan press from 1831 to the present day and a specialist library with around 10,000 titles.


General Hospital "Agios Giorgos"

The General Hospital of Chania (Γενικό Νοσοκομείο Χανιών) was moved into in 2000. After the University Clinic in Heraklion, it is the second largest hospital in Crete with 450 beds. It is located on the southern outskirts of Chania near the village of Mournies. The hospital is modernly equipped and has, among other things, stations for cardiology , neurosurgery , nephrology , oncology , gynecology and pediatrics .

"Tsepeti" private clinic

The Tsepeti Hospital (Κεντρική Κλινική Τσεπέτη) is a modern private clinic in downtown Chania, with specialized medical departments, several operating theaters, diagnostic laboratory facilities and an emergency room for planned or emergency medical treatment in Crete. At the beginning of 2013, a German team of specialists took over the medical and scientific management of the clinic.

education and Science

Technical college


The long-standing plans to found a university in Crete entered a decisive phase in the 1960s. The larger Cretan cities fought bitterly over the seat of the university. General Stylianos Pattakos , who came from Rethymno and who , as interior minister for a long time, was the “second man” of the Greek military regime from 1967, managed to have the seat assigned to his hometown.

Library of the TUC

This decision was called into question again after the collapse of junta rule in 1974. Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis resolved the dispute through a compromise: Heraklion received the medical and scientific faculties and Rethymno the humanities faculties of the University of Crete , Chania became the seat of the State Technical University of Crete ( Greek Πολυτεχνίο Κρήτης , "polytechnic").

The Technical University, formally founded in 1977, began teaching in 1984 as the second TU in Greece. Its six faculties are architecture, mining, electrical engineering & computer science, natural sciences, production engineering & management, and environmental engineering. On a campus between the city of Chania and the Akrotiri peninsula east of Chania , in the municipality of the same name, numerous modern university buildings have been erected, which - rather rare in Greece - represent impressive examples of modern architecture.

Scientific institutes

A number of scientific institutes were added. The National Institute for Olive Trees and Sub-Tropical Plants emerged from an agricultural research station, whose research activities have gained considerable importance for the agricultural development of Crete, in particular for the production of olive oil and citrus fruits, but also avocado and kiwi fruit, as well as for ecology. Another agricultural research institute, the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, works in the vicinity. The Institute for Cretan Law is dedicated to the study of Cretan law from all epochs of legal history.

Other institutions

Chania is the seat of the Diocese of Kydonia and Apokoronas.

There is a German honorary consulate and a Goethe center in Chania.

Two daily newspapers appear, Chaniotika Nea and Kiryx , there are also two TV stations, Crete TV1 and Kydon Channel, and three radio stations, Crete 101.5 FM , Magic FM Stereo 98.2 and Max FM .


sons and daughters of the town

Personalities who have worked on site

Individual evidence

  1. Results of the 2011 census at the National Statistical Service of Greece (ΕΣΥΕ) ( Memento from June 27, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (Excel document, 2.6 MB)
  2. Geological origin and development ( Memento of December 18, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  3. ^ Lambert Schneider: Crete: 5000 years of art and culture: Minoan palaces, Byzantine chapels and Venetian city complexes . DuMont Reiseverlag, 1998, ISBN 978-3-7701-3801-2 , p. 18 ( Preview in Google Book Search).
  4. Chania and its surroundings ( Memento from October 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  5. Climate Crete ( Memento from October 1, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  6. Climate Chania ( Memento from April 8, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  7. Khania. Linear B Inscribed Artefacts from Khania., accessed July 23, 2014 .
  8. Dr. Antonis Sp.Vassilakis (archaeologist): Kreta , Verlag I. Mathioulakis & Co.
  9. John Leonard: An Enduring Mystery. GreekNews, February 13, 2012, accessed November 10, 2014 .
  10. Kasteli archaeological site, Chania (Kanevaro)., accessed December 2, 2012 .
  11. P. Haider: Greece - North Africa , Impulse for Research, Volume 53, Darmstadt 1988
  12. Wolfgang Schuller: Greek History . Oldenbourg, 2002, ISBN 978-3-486-49085-5 , pp. 99 ( Preview in Google Book Search).
  13. Minoan culture, post-palace period (
  14. Homer: Odyssey in the Gutenberg-DE project
  15. Culture - Byzantine Period ( ( Memento of September 28, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  16. ^ Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt ( Memento from September 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  17. ( Memento from September 27, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  18. Freddy Thiriet , Délibérations n.66, 23 August 1302.
  19. ^ Hippolyte Noiret , Documents inédits pour servir à l'histoire de la domination vénitienne en Crète de 1380 à 1485, Paris 1892, p. XIII.
  20. For example in 1387 when there was a choice between Giovanni Lombardo, a Carmelite who prevailed against the Franciscan Giovanni Querini (Freddy Thiriet, Délibérations des assemblées vénitiennes, n. 882, July 1387).
  21. So around 1391 an Andrea Dandolo, although his brother Marco was already castellan of Rethimno (Freddy Thiriet, Délibérations n. 914, January 15, 1391).
  22. Freddy Thiriet, Délibérations n.125, November 27, 1306.
  23. Freddy Thiriet, Délibérations n.1109, September 17, 1409.
  24. Freddy Thiriet, Délibérations n. 1171, November 13, 1410.
  25. Freddy Thiriet, Délibérations n.501, October 6, 1343.
  26. Freddy Thiriet, Délibérations n.905, May 29, 1390.
  27. Freddy Thiriet, Délibérations n.464, February 25, 1331.
  28. Freddy Thiriet, Délibérations n. 516, 26. – 29. September 1345.
  29. Freddy Thiriet, Délibérations n. 704f., September 18, 1363.
  30. Freddy Thiriet, Délibérations n.1459, March 26, 1451.
  31. Freddy Thiriet, Délibérations n. 1525, 7–12. June 1456.
  32. Freddy Thiriet, Délibérations n.1617, July 28, 1462.
  33. Thus, precautionary measures were taken against alliances of refugees on Corfu and in other colonies (Freddy Thiriet, Délibérations n. 1616, July 21, 1462).
  34. a b c G. Desipris, K. Santorineou: Kreta - Rethymno , section “History”, page 39
  35. ^ Cretan School in the English language Wikipedia
  36. Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall: History of the Ottoman Empire . tape 3 . Hartleben's Verlag Pesth, 1835, p. 269 ( preview in Google Book Search).
  37. Joseph von Hammer-Purgstall: History of the Ottoman Empire . tape 3 . Hartleben's Verlag Pesth, 1835, p. 272–273 ( preview in Google Book Search).
  38. Crete (history) ( Memento from December 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  39. ^ Villa Andromeda - history & location
  40. Katina Singelakis: A Cretan Exodus, May – June 1944 . ( Memento of October 22, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 226 kB) August 5, 2002
  41. ^ The Battle of Crete: A Re-evaluation . ( Memento of September 28, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF) In: Cross-Sections , The Bruce Hall Academic Journal, Volume III 2007 ( Memento of September 28, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF) The Australian National University Canberra, page 129
  42. Marlen von Xylander: The Surrender . in: Karina Raeck: Andartis - Monument for Peace . Athens 2005. pp. 188ff
  43. Biography: Konstantinos Mitsotakis (Greek)
  44. Information from the Greek Ministry of the Interior on
  45. Biography: Dr. Kiriakos Virvidakis (English)
  46. Mayor of Chania ( Memento from October 30, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  47. Trimartyri Cathedral ( Memento of the original dated February 5, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  48. The Cathedral of Trimartyri (the 3 Martyrs) ( Memento from December 19, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  49. The Archaeological Museum of Chania ( Memento of June 8, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  50. ^ Lambert Schneider: Kreta , Dumont art travel guide, pages 289/290
  51. The new archaeological museum on , accessed on February 13, 2018 (gr, en)
  52. State of construction as a picture on , accessed on February 13, 2018 (gr, en)
  53. The Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Collection of Chania ( Memento of November 11, 2004 in the Internet Archive )
  54. The Maritime Museum ( Memento from November 11, 2004 in the Internet Archive )
  55. ^ Lambert Schneider: Crete: 5000 years of art and culture: Minoan palaces, Byzantine chapels and Venetian city complexes . DuMont Reiseverlag, 1998, ISBN 978-3-7701-3801-2 , p. 285 ( preview in Google Book Search).
  56. ^ Eberhard Fohrer: Kreta , Michael Müller Verlag, 16th edition 2006, page 589
  57. The War Museum of Chania ( Memento of August 8, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  58. Website of the Etz Hayyim Synagogue ( Memento from February 26, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  59. Chania - The Mosque of Kioutschuk Hassan ( Memento from June 8, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  60. ^ Carmen Galenschovski: Kreta , Verlag Karl Baedeker, 6th edition 2002, page 96, ISBN 3-89525-826-1
  61. Spyros Kayales-Kayaledakis ( Memento from May 14, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  62. ^ Eberhard Fohrer: Kreta , Michael Müller Verlag, 16th edition 2006, page 591
  63. Jürgen Lehmann: The development of tourism in Crete ( Memento of February 24, 2005 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 663 kB)
  64. The historical archive of Crete ( Memento of June 8, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  65. ^ Website of the General Hospital of Chania
  66. Website of the private clinic Tsepeti
  67. Website of the TU Crete (Greek)
  68. Website of the Technical University (English)
  69. Website of the institute ( Memento from February 20, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) (English, Greek)
  70. Website of the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania (English)
  71. Website of the institute ( Memento from April 2, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) (English, Greek)
  72. ^ Goethe Center Chania

Web links

Commons : Chania  - Collection of images, videos and audio files