You’ll encounter archaeological excavation sites (map) that brought to light rich findings, even floor plans of whole establishments, showing that the city of Chania is developed on the site of an important ancient city named Kydonia or Cydonia. According to tradition, Kydonia was the third-largest city established by King Minos of Crete between the 3650-3000 BC.
Since then, Cydonia was inhabited in all subsequent phases of history. It flourished and declined at times, met wars, pillages and conquests. Its name paraphrased to Chania. Destroyed and rebuilt multiple times.
Today, the old town of Chania preserves deeply the signs since Crete was a colony of the Venetians (1252-1645), with the necessary additions of the subsequent years of Crete’s conquest by the Ottoman Turks (1645-1898), as well as the less visible but existing signs of the Egyptian domination (1831-1841) that occurred during the Ottoman rule.
Observe the architecture of the buildings that reflect the diverse culture and religion of various and different civilizations that lived in Chania.
Many of these buildings were and remain homes, as well, others house shops, stores, bars, cafes and restaurants. Several, mostly Venetian mansions, have been converted into hotels, while other buildings have been converted into museums and venues that host cultural exhibitions.
All of them are monuments that will lead you, mentally, into the paths of the history of this place.
Through them, get to know better the old town of Chania, which is consisted by districts, squares and neighborhoods.
1 Kasteli is the hill where the history of the city of Chania began to be written, and it always was the acropolis or the core of the city.
2 Topanas was the aristocratic district of the city.
3 Ovriaki or Evraiki was the neighborhood settled by the Jews.
4 Sintrivani or Santrivani was the square frequented by the city’s Christians during the Ottoman rule. This also was the central square of the city of Chania in subsequent years.
5 Splantzia was the Turkish quarter, when the Turks settled in Chania.
During your sightseeing within the old town of Chania..