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|THE TOWN OF CHANIA ON THE ISLAND OF CRETE|
A lot of people claim that Chania is the most beautiful town on Crete, and this could be true, but it's a matter of taste. It's true that the centre of the town is attractive and has a lot of character and history, both Turkish and Venetian, but because Chania is such a populair destination it can also get quite busy. I've seen it a couple of times about 25 to 30 years ago and as I could have expected, nowadays Chania is much busier and trying to get into or out of the town can ask for some patience because of the heavy traffic on some places. There are many stoplights and not so many signs giving directions, so it can get confusing. The newly build concrete buildings on the outskirts heavily contrast with the historic and beautiful centre of the town. If you only would have a helicopter that can land you in the heart of the old village.... If you manage to get through all the busy traffic you will find a really nice and interesting town though.
Chania is one of the largest towns on the island of Crete and is packed with historical sights, a Turkish lighthouse and a Venetian fortress, and many buildings and houses dating from the Venetian and Turkish Ottoman times. It also has many shops, a large market and a charming harbour that houses many restaurants and cafés. It is a really interesting town to spend some time in. Nowadays about 56.000 people live in Chania and it is the largest town in Crete after Heraklion.
The City of Chania already existed in the Minoan time and the was called Kydonia. In 828 AD, the city was conquered and destroyed by the Arabs and they gave the city a different name. In 961 BC the city fell into Byzantine hands. In the 14th century it was conquered by the Venetians that enlarged the fortress (Firkas from 1629) which can still be seen. Chania was faced with attacks by pirates (Barbarossa) and in the 17th century it was occupied by the Ottoman Turks. In the year 1913 Chania, just like the rest of Crete, became a part of Greece. Many of the old buildings that were erected in the course of time in Chania can still be admired. There is the Venetian port with the Venetian fortress and the lighthouse which dates from the Turkish times. If you walk through the old town you get to see a lot of Turkish and Venetian buildings.
For even more information on Chania - click here.