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Chania is the second largest city of Crete and the capital of the Chania peripheral unit. It lies along the north coast of the island, about 70 km (43 mi) west of Rethymno and 145 km (90 mi) west of Heraklion.The official population of the municipal unit (the former municipality) is 55,838 but the greater urban area is 81,985.The urban area consists of the city of Chania along with 7 towns and villages: Mournies (pop. 6390), Nerokouros (pop. 4175), Souda (pop. 5330), Daratsos (pop. 3287), Galatas (pop. 2131), Vamvakopoulo (pop. 1769) and Perivolia (pop. 3065).

Chania is the site of the Minoan settlement the Greeks called Kydonia, Greek for quince. Some notable archaeological evidence for the existence of this Minoan city below some parts of today's Chania was found by excavations in the district of Kasteli in the Old Town.This area appears to have been inhabited since the Neolithic era.The city reemerged after the end of the Minoan period as an important city-state in Classical Greece, one whose domain extended from Chania Bay to the feet of the White Mountains.The first major wave of settlers from mainland Greece was by the Dorian Greeks who came around 1100 BC. Kydonia was constantly at war with other Cretan city-states such as Aptera, Phalasarna and Polyrrinia and was important enough for the Kydonians to be mentioned in Homer's Odyssey (iii.330).In 69 BC, the Roman consul Caecilius Metellus defeated the Cretans and conquered Kydonia to which he granted the privileges of an independent city-state.Kydonia reserved the right to mint its own coins until the third century AD.

Fortunately, Chania and Crete in general escaped the disastrous consequences of the Greek Civil War of the postwar years.The city of Chania was slowly regaining its normal pace of development during the 1950s, trying to overcome the difficulties that the war had left as an aftermath.During the 1970s Crete became a major tourist destination for Greek and international tourists, something that gave a significant boost to the city's economy and affected the everyday life and the overall culture of the locals.The capital of Crete was moved to Heraklion in 1971.Chania and the rest of the island of Crete, unlike the mainland of Greece, it is not suffering from the economical crisis, as the local economy is based on the horticulture products like the olive oil.

The city of Chania can be divided in two parts: the old town and the modern city which is the larger one.The old town is situated next to the old harbour and is the matrix around which the whole urban area was developed.It used to be surrounded by the old Venetian fortifications that started to be built in 1538; of them the eastern and western parts have survived.From the south, the old town is continuous with the new, and from the north the physical border is the sea.The centre of the modern city is the area extending next to the old town and especially towards the south.

The modern part of Chania is where most locals live and work.It is less traditional than the old town, but there are still areas of charming beauty or of some historical interest.The oldest district (early 18th century) of the modern city is Nea Hora (meaning "New Town") which is located beyond the west end of the old town.It is a developing area, but also a very picturesque one, with narrow old lanes leading to a small fishing harbour.During the same era the district of Halepa begun to grow to the east of the city and used to be home for the local aristocracy.Some of the historical buildings of the area (including old embassies of foreign countries) had been destroyed or abandoned during the later decades of the 20th century, and it was only recently when some interest was shown for the restoration of the remaining ones.

How to Reach

By Air

The city is served by Chania International Airport (IATA code: CHQ) on the Akrotiri Peninsula.The airport is named after Daskalogiannis, a Sfakiot hero who was skinned by the Turks in the 18th century.There are several flights a day from Athens to Chania, with Aegean Airlines and Olympic Airlines.From April-early November, there are many direct charter flights to Chania from the United Kingdom, Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands and other European countries.

By Bus

Chania is connected with the rest of Crete by regular bus lines operated the KTEL company.The coaches are modern, comfortable and air-conditioned. Fare is reasonable.Public transportation is fairly frequent and timetables quite trustworthy.Bus services along the north coast and towards the south coast are excellent, reliable, frequent and cheap.

By Car

Highway E75 (A90) goes along the North coast of Crete from Heraklion to Kissamos, it goes by the southern outskirts of the town.The old road, that still has the name 90,is parallel to the new highway and is the main road through all the small resorts west of Chania.

By Ferry

Ferry services from Athens (Piraeus port) to Chania (Hania) anchor at the nearby port of Souda.Daily ferries,one ordinary with ANEK and one fast catamaran with Hellenic Seaways.

Key places to visit
Archaeological Museum of Chania, Etz Hayyim Synagogue, Mpourakis, War Museum, Nautical Museum of Crete


Places to Visit

Archaeological Museum of Chania

Is a museum located in the former Venetian Monastery of Saint Francis at 25 Chalidon Street, Chania, Crete, Greece.It was established in 1962.The exact date that the building was constructed is unknown although it was mentioned in writing as standing during the great earthquake of 1595 and being the largest in the city.It served as a Venetian church inhabited by Franciscan monks, and became an important monument of the city.he museum contains a wide range of coins, jewellery, vases, sculpture, clay tablets with inscriptions, stelae and mosaics.The collection includes a clay sealing from Kasteli, with a representation of a Minoan city and its patron deity dated to the second half of the 15th century BC.There is a clay pyxis with a representation of a kithara player excavated from a chamber tomb in the area of Koiliaris in Kalyves-Aptera dated to 1300–1200 BC.There is also a clay tablet inscribed with Linear A script from Kasteli, dated to 1450 BC and small clay tablets with texts in Linear B script dated to 1300.

Etz Hayyim Synagogue

Etz Hayyim was a desecrated house of prayer that remained the sole Jewish monument on the Island of Crete after the destruction of Crete's Jewish community in 1944.Essentially it stood as a monument to the success of the Nazis in obliterating 2300 years of Jewish life on the Island of Crete.Between 1996 and the year of its re-dedication in 1999, the structure was painstakingly restored.The philosophy that directed this work is summed up in the Hebrew Am Israel Hayy:'The people of Israel Live'.Today it stands as a vibrant statement of Jewish life, vitality and values, whereas until recently it was still mentioned on the World Monument Fund's list of most endangered sites.


In Kounoupidiana is the absolute must in Chania eating.Traditional cuisine with exquisite tastes at reasonable prices in a very cared environment and cooking only with extra virgin olive oil.From Kounoupidiana center take the road on the right go towards Stavros, 100 meters on your right side.

War Museum

Is a museum in Chania, Crete , Greece, annex of the War Museum of Athens.It was founded on July 1995.The museum exhibits photographs, war artifacts and other items from the national wars and revolutions of the Greek History.It is housed in a building, built in 1870 and designed by the Italian architect Makouzo, which in the past has been used as barracks by the Italian Army during World War II.

Nautical Museum of Crete

Is a museum in Chania, Crete , Greece.Its collection includes models of ships, nautical instruments, painting, historical photographs and war relics.The material is classified chronologically, starting from the Bronze Age up to our times.The exhibits of the first floor include models of ancient ships, a model of the fortified town and port under Venetian rule, a model that shows shipbuilding and repair buildings, with a rowing ship inside.The second floor exhibits include models of modern Hellenic Navy ships, destroyers, a missile boat, a landing ship with trucks and APVs on board.The exhibits include the full bridge of a destroyer and two torpedo propulsion units. A section of the museum is dedicated to the German invasion of Crete.

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