For its erection, the central bastion of the city walls was demolished and the trench was filled in with rubble. C. Drandakis made the study for its construction. The market was founded on 14th April 1911 during the mayoralty of Manolis Mountakis and was inaugurated by Eleftherios Venizelos on 4th December 1913 as part of the celebration that took place to commemorate the unification of Crete with Greece. It has the shape of a cross with doors at each end. In its inner quarters are the food stores. It is considered one of the most important markets in the Balkans.
As a consequence of the rising Turkish threat, the Venetian navy was reinforced and shipyards constructed in 1526 and completed in 1599, for the maintenance of the naval fleet that was at anchor in the harbour of Chania. The northern part of the shipyards opened to the sea, whilst the southern part was closed and had a small door, two rectangular windows and a round window spanned by archways. Southwards, the gate and the shipyards were connected by a Venetian gateway that was destroyed in the middle of the 20th century.
During the Turkish Domination, the shipyards were neglected and started falling into disrepair. Out of the 17 shipyards that originally existed, only 7 are still standing today, with various alterations such as the closing of the northern part and new partitions that have been adapted for contemporary use.
On the bank of the Old Harbour stands a unique mosque among those that have been preserved, the mosque of Hassan Pasha or Giali Tzamisi (i.e. glass mosque), of characteristic Ottoman architecture, with a big central dome and four smaller ones. In the south-western corner is the base of a minaret and, inside, in the south-eastern corner, the “mihrap” (sanctuary). Today the mosque houses exhibitions and cultural events.
Chania Sailing Club
Chania Sailing Club (www.iox.gr) was founded in 1990 with the aim of developing, supporting and informing about Sailing in Hania, Crete. Recognized by the General Sports Secretary and member of the Hellenic Sailing Federation, it has been active through 45 Open Sea Sailing Courses, the Triangle course, the J24 course, seminars, Sailing Races and Cultural Events. Neorio Moro (neorio=shipyard), the home of Hania Sailing Club at the Venetian Harbour, is functional and at the same time aesthetically exceptional, a very imposing building at a key geographic spot, with endless potential and countless symbolisms.
Along with the athletic events, it also houses exhibitions, book presentations, performances, installations, lectures, seminars, film screenings, concerts. Also at Neorio Moro, the Hania Sailing Club Lounge Cafe, the stylish cafe of the Sailing Club members, is open to the public as well, while playing an important role in the Club’s initiatives. Neorio Moro is about 60m long, 9m wide and 10m high. It was built in 1607, during the Venetian Occupation (1204 –1669) by the Venetian Benedetto Moro. The renovation project for Neorio Moro was funded by the Business Program ENVIRONMENT 2000-2006, by the 3rd KPS, with the aim of building the Sailing Center. With the collaboration and support of the Municipality of Chania, the renovation project was completed successfully.
For sailing matters:
For cultural matters:
The small streets behind Zambeliou Street constitute the area known as the Hebrew Quarter (Hebraiki), as Jews used to be confined there during the Venetian period. The Venetians had taken strict measures against the Jews, who were obliged to live only in this specific neighbourhood especially designated for them.
The main street, with the houses of notable Jews, is today’s Kondilaki Street. In the side street of Kontilaki Street, stands the Synagogue of Kehal Hayyim, housed in a one-winged vaulted building, with two small spaces south of the building relating to each other through the Jewish rituals. All the Jews of Chania were killed during World War II, when the ship that they boarded was sunk off Chania. Contrary to other analogous synagogues, the synagogue of Chania was not destroyed, and it reopened its doors in 1999.
Houses with characteristic Venetian façades stand along Zambeliou Street. From these facades, only a few elements of the superb Venetian doorways have been preserved. A characteristic sample: the Renier mansion, with very few remaining elements, although its gateway has been preserved, with the date 1608 carved in, as well as the inscription:
“Multa tulip Fecitus et studarit dulces patter, sudavit et alsit semper requies serena” (i.e. the sweet father did a lot and studied. He sweated and suffered, may herest in perpetual joy). Inside the gate, the private chapel of the Renier family has also been preserved almost intact
(Zambeliou & Moschon St.). This temple is of Latin typology. The original temple must date back to the 15th century, with its altar facing northwards,the entrance westwards and the window eastwards.
During the modifications carried out in the 17th century in the northern part, the altar was removed and the
entrance was created with some intervention in the southern part for the construction of a new altar. The building is small, but with very beautiful decorative architectural elements, like the embossed mouldings on the semicylindrical vault. If the church door is closed, it can be accessed through the EXANTAS ART SPACE, a bookstore and art shop with an inside door to the church.
Another characteristic façade is that of a Venetian mansion (37 Zambeliou St.) with an inscription carved in: “Nuli parvus est cui magnus est animus” (i.e. no one is poor if their soul is big). The same inscription is decorated with an unknown coat of arms.
Splantzia – Chatzmichali Daliani (Minaret)
Splantzia used to be the Turkish neighbourhood of Chania. Tts picturesque alleys constitute an almost “no driving zone”. Several Turkish buildings have been preserved, many of which restored. The Monastery of Saint Nicholas stands in the beautiful Splantzia Square too,
today’s homonymous Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas (it is the only church in Greece with a bell tower on the left, and a minaret on the right). The Square was once a recreation place, where there used to be pavilions of the Arabic order, a Turkish fountain and three sycamores, two of which were cut down at the beginning of the 20th century – the biggest sycamore has been preserved to date. South of the church of Saint Nicholas is the two-aisled vaulted Orthodox Church of Saint Catherine, of characteristic Renaissance architecture. It was used as a bakery until recently. In the neighbourhood of Splantzia, on Rougha square, in Kallinikou Sarpaki Street, is the oneaisled Orthodox Church of Saint Irene, which was newly discovered. South of Splantzia square is the neighbourhood of Aghioi Anarghiroi, where the homonymous Orthodox two-aisled church stands. It was a Metropolitan Church until the erection of the Trimartiri. The church of Saint Rocco, patron saint of the sick, protector of the city against the plague, stands in Daskalogianni Street. Its façades bear Latin inscriptions, with the year 1630 carved in. It is a oneaisled church, north of which there is a chapel without chancel apse, with many architectural influences from the Italian Renaissance evident in its proportions
and unadorned forms. Under the shade of the sycamore dominating Splantzia square today, the visitor will have the opportunity to enjoy the atmospheric cafés of the city and, in the famous much-frequented Hatjimichali Daliani Street with the locals’ favourite hangouts, they will also discover characteristic cafés and restaurants. Aga Camisi’s minaret has been preserved here, and many Venetian and Ottoman buildings have been restored and house very attractive cafés, bars, bistros, mèzè shops, and restaurants serving traditional and Mediterranean dishes. It is one of the most appealing corners of Chania.