October 18, 2016
In 1620, during the Venetian rule in Crete, the constant threat of the Ottoman Turks led the Venetians to fortify Chania with Firka Fortress at the harbor. It was originally built with 319 cannons, 30,695 cannonballs and 414 pounds of gunpowder. Firka means barracks in Turkish.
It is possible to still see the positions of the cannons, in each of the six arched openings and the lion-emblem of the Serene Republic of Venice.
The Fort played an important part in the modern history of Crete as well. On December 1, 1913, the Prime Minister of Greece, Eleftherios Venizelos, and the King Constantine of Greece, raised the Greek flag and sealed the Union of the autonomous Cretan State with Greece.
In Splantzia square is a church originally built by the Venetians as a convent between 1205 and 1320.
In 1645, the church was converted into the main mosque of the city and was named Chiougkar Hassan, in honor of Sultan Ibrahim.
In 1918, after the conquer of the Orthodox Christians, the mosque was turned into a Christian basilica church, dedicated to Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors, but it maintains its minaret.
Chania Municipal Market is located in the center of Chania, where the main bastion of the fortifications stood in Venetian times. Originally this was a rough area with butchers, fishmongers, grocers, and inns.
In 1908 the Municipality of Chania decided to improve the area by building a covered municipal market. Designed by local engineer Drandakis. It is modeled after the covered market of Marseille.
Opened by Eleftherios Venizelos (leader of the Greek National Liberation Movement and a native of Chania) in 1913. It is in the shape of a cross and has four doors, 76 shops, and is considered the architectural jewel of Chania and one of the most impressive covered markets in the Balkans.
It was a very stormy day in Chania, while it did not rain the waves battered the sidewalks and the clouds threatened to storm. It was a great day to just sit and people watch.
And here are some more random sights of the town: