Venetian Harbour of Chania
The Venetian Harbour was built in the period between 1320 and 1356. In the 16th century the Venetians would build a wall with battlements along the breakwater, the Bastion of St. Nicholas of Molos, the Fortress Revellino del Porto at the entrance of the harbor and the lighthouse. During the Cretan State expands the foundations of the port, but the next decades, the passenger and commercial activity will be transferred to the large natural harbor of Souda.
Chania lighthouse, the jewel of the city, is one of the oldest light houses, not only in Greece and the Mediterranean, but also in the world. The lighthouse (Faros GR: Φάρος) is a major attraction in the old port of Chania especially at night when it's lit up. The tower is 21m high and is built on a stone base, located at the end of the old harbour's pier opposite to the fortress of "Firkas". Visitors are not allowed to enter the tower. Chania lighthouse was first constructed by the Venetians around 1595 - 1601, and it took its final form, in the shape of a minaret, during the Egyptian Period (1831 - 1841) in around 1839. After the latest restoration, completed in 2006, it was given the formation of the Venetian period. The minaret look is still evident however.
The Municipal Market of Chania, the large building of 4000 square meters in a surrounding area of 17.200 square meters, is the "heart" of the city. It is an original building that, apart from a business activity center, also provides a concrete image of the ancient Greek marketplace.\
The design and construction of the Municipal Market was a time-consuming procedure that started in 1908 and was completed in 1913, the year when Crete was united with Greece. The official opening ceremony was performed by the Prime Minister of Greece, the notorious Elftherios Venizelos, three days after the unification of Crete with Greece, on December 4, 1913. The spaces were organized according to special regulations, and the association "New Market of Chania" was founded by the business-holders. In general, on the eastern and western part of the market there were butcher shops, on the end of the west arcade there were the fish shops and on the north and south ends there were the fruit and vegetables shops. Few days before the Battle of Crete, on May 1941, a bombing shelter was constructed on the southeast part of the market. During the German occupation, the German soldiers occupied the central arcade and used it for the needs of the army.
In 1980, the Municipal Market of Chania was declared a protected monument by the Ministry of Culture.
The House of Eleftherios Venizelos
It was built in 1880 by the father of Eleftherios, Kyriakos Venizelos, on a landbought four years ago. It is a two-floor house in style of villa, which housed Eleftherios Venizelos and various other personalities until 1927, when it was renovated. Today it is the seat of the National Research Foundation "Eleftherios K. Venizelos".
The "Palace" of Chania was built in 1882 in Chalepa next to the house of Kyriakos Venizelos. It is a simple mansion and in 1898 housed the High Commissioner Prince George. Later, Alexander Zaimis and respective General Governors of Crete lived there. From 1940 to 1957 operated as a hospital, while during the occupation it was requisitioned by the Nazis.
The graves of Venizelos are located in a very historic location of Chania, next to the Venetian church of Prophet Elias at position Froudia with panoramic views to Chania. The temple was originally dedicated to the Prophet Elisha, while in the 16th century the nave of the Prophet Elijah was added.
The history of space is really dramatic and is surely worth knowing. During the last Cretan revolution of 1897 against the Turks, the Revolutionary Camp of Cretans camped at this place. In morning of February 9, 1897 fights between the Turks and the Cretans started and the latter hoisted the Greek flag at Froudia.
Eleftherios Venizelos, later Prime Minister of Greece, in the meanwhile tried to negotiate with the heads of the Great Powers (Russia, Italy, Britain), who did not want the autonomy of Crete. At noon of the same day, the Italian and the Russian fleet bombarded Froudia, where the Greek flag waived.
The bullets hit the flagpole and it fell to the ground. Then, the Cretan hero Spyros Kayaledakis or Kayalès, within a rain of bullets, grabbed the flag and raised it, making his body a flagpole. After a while the machine guns silenced. This symbolic event is represented on the statue of Kayalès that we see at the place of the Tombs.
During the bombardment of the hill by the Great Powers, the temple of Prophet Elijah was destroyed. It was later restored by the Russians, who felt that the explosion of a cannon on the Russian flagship, was the punishment of the Prophet Elias for the destruction of the temple.
At the area next to the temple the ethnarch Eleftherios Venizelos and his son Sophocles Venizelos , who also became a Prime Minister of Greece, were burried. On the tomb of Venizelos we read the funeral speech, written by himself, in 1932. This reads as following:
Dear friends, the dead here was a true man with courage and confidence, for him and the people that he was called to govern. Perhaps he made mistekes, but he never missed the courage, he was never a fatalist and never waited the fate so as to see his country in good condition, but he served this country with every possible mean, dedicated soul and body.
THE MONASTERY OF GOUVERNETO
Gouverneto or Gderneto Monastery is located 19km east of Chania, on the north side of the Cape Akrotiri of Chania, near the monastery of Agia Triada Tzagarolon. It can be accessed through the Agia Triada, where there is a sign leading to the Gouverneto.
It is situated on a rocky site at an altitude of 260m, near the entrance of the gorge Avlaki and is built with fortress architecture and four towers with bastions protect its corners. The Gouverneto monastery was built before 1537, as proved by an inscription at the entrance of the fortress, being one of the oldest monasteries in Crete. It is believed that the monastery was founded by hermits and monks of the seaside Katholiko Monastery, who may built the new monastery over a pre-existing ancient temple so as to protect themselves from pirate raids.
The church of the monastery is dedicated to Virgin Mary, so it is also called Kyria ton Agelon (Lady of the Angels Monastery). It has a cruciform shape with a dome, while the entrance is decorated with relief representations of monsters. It was started being built during the Venetian Era, but the construction finished 2.5 centuries later, as the Turks invaded Crete and forbid building Christian temples.
Around the church of the monastery, which is located in the center of the courtyard, there are the other buildings of the complex. Among them are 50 monk cells in two floors, the dining room, a small museum, etc. Also, next to the church there are two chapels dedicated to Agii Deka (Saints Ten) and Saint John the Hermit.
St. John the Hermit lived in a cave in the gorge Avlaki, adjacent to the monastery, and is considered as the founder of the monastery. You can walk in Avlaki gorge by following the stone paved trail that descends to the sea. After 20 minutes of descent you will meet the Arkoudospilio Cave, and after a while the ruined monastery Katholiko and the cavernous church of St. John, where the hermit lived. After more 10 minutes, the gorge ends in a narrow rocky fjord with green waters.
The monastery is open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday (9:00 to 12:00 and 17:00 to 19:00) and on weekends (9:00 to 11:00 and 17:00 to 20:00).
Also, make sure you are decently dressed, and shorts, swimwear etc. are not allowed.
MONASTERY OF AGIOS GEORGIOS
The monastery of Agios Georgios in Karydi was founded around 1600 when there was a settlement here in this place. During the Turkish occupation the village was destroyed because it was in a strategic position to the south (Sfakia). The residents (about 10 families) had to convert to Muslim or they had to leave. Four families were converted. The priest had to pay a lot taxes to keep the church intact (the Turks wanted to destroy it), in which he eventually succeeded with the help of the Agia Triada Monastery. In 1720 the monastery was therefore given to the Agia Triada Monastery to thank them. In 1821 the Christians were given more freedom from their Turkish oppressors.
In 1829 they began olive cultivation, which made the monastery grow and it provided work for many people. An olive oil factory arose with twelve large arches, which was completed in 1860. The production was 25,000 barrels of oil per year. In 1923 the monastery and many of the surrounding olive groves were destroyed. Only since 1996 they try again to restore the monastery and keep it in good order. The church on the site contains fresoes of the 1880s and in one of the buildings on the left side of the church a small part of a bone of Saint George is kept.
The monastery of Agios Georgios in Karydi (opening hours 7:30 to 14:00 and 16:30 to 20:00) is located about two kilometers east of the large village of Vamos. It can be reached if you drive into Vamos from the north and follow the long road through the village of Vamos and exit the village again. You keep right at the first fork and go down the mountain until you see the sign, after just over a kilometer, that points to the monastery (at the next fork). Here you turn left.
Distance from Lavender Villas: km