As mentioned in my previous article, Crete is one of the places that should be definitely added in your travel bucket list. As one of the most popular islands and a worldwide top holiday destination, Crete is awaiting to enchant you! Known as the most diverse Greek Island, Crete just has everything a tourist needs for an ideal & unforgettable summer holiday; sandy beaches hidden among soaring mountains, palm tree forests growing in the middle of sprawling plains, and bustling modern cities that share coastlines with centuries-old structures.
Yes, of course Crete is beautiful all over but I’m not gonna go yet in details describing all the places that left me astonished while there. However, I do have to confess that of all the cities I’ve travelled, Chania was the one that stole my heart, so here I am with this page to explain the reasons why!
Chania (pronounced in greek Haniá) is a place where different civilisations have flourished throughout the centuries. Nowadays, it is the second largest city of Crete after Heraklion and it is divided in two parts; the old and new city. It is considered to be probably one of the most beautiful and most picturesque cities of Greece; unique maze-like alleys, beautiful Venetian mansions, fountains, churches and well preserved historical monuments can be found all over the city center!
The old town is built around the Venetian port and is also a relatively integral area where Venetian buildings and later Turkish elements compose a unique architectural style. Due to the historic center of Chania with its Venetian walls defining the borders between the old and new city and its ramparts, the city has been pronounced as preserved. It consists of five connected districts surrounding the Venetian port.
The Venetian architecture is actually quite visible to the eye from the first moment since, historically, after the Arabs and Byzantines, Crete was conquered by Venetians in 1252 and was given to Turks in 1669. Later on it was annexed to the rest of the Greek State on December 1913.
Nowadays, the old town of Chania is the beating heart of the city; a variety of cafeterias, traditional restaurants, museums, mansions and stores can all be found within walking distance from the city’s port.
While walking in the center, you’ll simply be able to admire Venetian fortifications, the Arsenals, the Greek Orthodox Cathedral, the Roman Catholic cathedral, the old Jewish and Turkish quarters behind the inner harbour and much more! You’ll have the chance to observe the architecture of historical structures, (built by various civilizations that lived in Chania over the centuries), to visit museums, exhibitions and other attractions, to stare at storefronts and do some shopping, and of course to enjoy a meal or a coffee in one of the numerous cafeterias that can be found around!
TIP; If you feel like relaxing from your walks in the alleys of the old town, all you have to do is to just sit on a bench and enjoy the spectacular views to the sea and the opposite captivating lighthouse. It’s just rewarding!
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