This is only a shell of what used to be a center for learning and culture. It was built during Turkish occupation in 1645. The building is used now as an art exhibition and cultural center. Don't expect to get much information on it but sometimes there are travelling galleries inside it that are quite impressive. But it is an important piece of architecture in Hania's historic district. It is also one of the areas you can hir a horse drawn carriage.
Originally built by Minoans, the port city of Kydonia was an important city and was even written about in classical Greek works. There are massive fortifications still visible today around the port and the historic city. Most of the buildings were once apartments of Turkish and Venetian nobles. Some are even still damaged. The ancient city of Kydonia is buried under the modern city. The fortress was built out of the remains by the Byzantines.
Cafes and restaurants line the harbor on all sides and offer great dishes and beverages.
Easily one of the best ways to see Hania is to head to the harbor. Once a busy fishing port and Venetian shipyard, this port is still very busy with tourists and locals alike. It is a great way to get your bearings and watch the sunset from one of the sidewalk cafe's. The lighthouse and the historic buildings that surround it give it an old world character.
This is the oldest Turkish building on Crete dating from the same year that the Turks captured Crete from the Venetians (1645). It's very pretty from the outside but we couldn't see into it - apparently it is sometimes used for exhibitions and so on.
There's a Venetian Harbour here similar to that at Rethymnon (in fact the two cities are similar in a few ways). It is lined with nice cafes and tavernas fronted by pushy waiters who try to drag you in, though they at least do not block your path like in Rethymnon. The tavernas are in pretty painted buildings and hotels rise up behind them. At various points there are sidestreets up into the heart of the old town.
Chania has some old Venetian shipyards - the ships used to be brought in under the arches here to be repaired and maintained, but the arches are now walled up to act like warehouses. It's still very pretty but I liked the (very similar) ones in Iraklion even more.
Looking down one of the streets of the old town, this street led down to the seafront and was lined with shops, cafes and galleries, and as I said before, almost all with rooms to rent. It's nice just to wander around these streets and get a little lost. Even those with just houses and no shops etc. are lovely to look at too, and in this early part of the season it was so tranquil. I imagine it is a lot more busy and bustling later in the year.
The old town at Chania is lovely - the best bit of the city for me. It's a maze of narrow streets full of pretty painted buildings in lovely pastel colours. Almost every building, whether it is a shop, a cafe, a gallery or whatever seems to have rooms to rent. Their shutters and windows are flung open so you can peek inside to see the rooms. They mostly looked lovely. If you go here in the early season (before middle of May) you should easily find a good room at a good price.
The Cathedral stands in a small square on the street running down from the city wall to the harbour. From the outside it's uninspiring but we know from experience that most Cretian churches have really spectacular insides. I couldn't say for this one though, it was closed at the time we passed.
The indoor market at Chania is pretty huge. It's in the form of a cross and the four arms of it are crammed with stalls and units selling all manner of foodstuffs. Some of the meat stalls looked pretty disgusting to us veggies - the animals are barely processed in the way they are at home and you are certainly in no doubt abiut what aminal you are buying a part of!
Hania may be Crete's second biggest city, but it is by far the best. You will see it spelled Chania, Hania, and Xania, so don't be confused, they are talking about the same place. This city was the capital of Crete until 1971, when that designation was moved to Iraklion.
Chania can really be seperated into two individual towns: the old port with its mediaeval quarters and surrounding wall, and the new suburbs spreading around the old port. The old town, with its
magnificent harbour, displays its Venetian and Turkish influences in its architecture. On a leisurely stroll through the winding streets, you are bound to notice the differences that each period brought. Along the harbor front you will find every type of food, including the local seafood, which should be your first choice. There are numerous bars, cafes and shops in this area, as well. There is a market just 20 meters from the waterfront. With all of these great attributes, Hania has a certain charm to it that the other cities in Crete, and in the rest of Greece, simply do not have.
See other other pages with lots of pictures. It's 1 1/2 hours driving, but it's fun, watching the beautifull scenery along the hills.
Also you smell flowers in some parts instead of the gasses you smell over here...
Chania shall be one of the most beautiful cities of Greece. The city has about 50000 inhabitants The market hall in the center of the city and the by night lighted harbour are the most beautiful parts of this city.
Hania is the second largest city of Crete and the former capital - it's beautiful, it's charming and, sadly, it's full of people. There are many things to see: first of all the old Venetian houses - most of which have been turned into a restaurant or shop on the ground floor, while the upper floor is left to crumble down. Then there's a pretty old port with boats and an interesting Turkish mosque by the harbour. The ortodox cathedral is quite nice and the archaeological museum superb. All in between there are several colourful newly restored houses. I would not recommend anyone to stay overnight in Hania, but a visit during the day is worthwhile
This is a little bit like all the villages along the north coast. Very touristic, but nice.
At the venetian harbour you can see the white mosque from the time of the Turks.
Worth visiting also is the covered market hall. You can see the fresh fish, a lot of herbs and taste the delicious thyme honey.
Then again, small narrow streets with a lot of shops.