Profiti Elias - Venizelos Grave

The Church of Profiti Elias is in the area of "Froudia" and was built during the Venetian Occupation. Initially the smaller southern nave of Profiti Elisaios was built and during the 16th century the larger temple of Profiti Elias was added. An arched wall opening was constructed, joining the two buildings.

The church was destroyed during the bombings by the Great Powers, but was rebuilt with funds provided by the Tsar who believed that the explosion of a cannon on a Russian flagship was punishment from Profiti Elias for the destruction of his church.

During the last Cretan Revolution (1897) the Cretan Revolution Camp was formed in the area of Profiti Elias.

The event that characterizes the Revolution, the self-sacrifice of a Cretan fighter who made his body a shield to the bullets in defense of the great ideal, is symbolized by a statue erected at this location.

Next to the church is the grave of the National Leader Eleftherios Venizelos and that of his second son Sophocles Venizelos, leader of the Liberal party and Prime Minister, as was his father. His own eulogy, which he delivered in the National Parliament in 1932, is inscripted on the plaque that covers the grave of the National Leader. Here it is verbatim:

"The deceased man before you, my dear friends, was a real man of great courage and self confidence in himself and in the people that he was called upon to govern. He probably made many mistakes but he was never lacking in courage and has never been a fatalist because he never counted on fate, in order to see his country progress. On the contrary he placed in her service all the flame he had in him and all the strength he possessed both moral and physical."

Nea Chora

If we follow the beach road west from the walls of the port and passing in front of the Western Trench we will arrive at closest beach to Chania - the Papanikoli Coast.

This is also the border of the area of Nea Chora, an area that has developed at a rapid pace over the past few years and is expanding in the northeast part of the city.

On the left there once was a large building complex that housed the ABEA factory (soap factory). The large smoke stack remains. Right across is the National Water Sport Center of Chania. In Nea Chora there is a small fishing harbor and good sized, clean sandy beach that continues past the estuary of the Kladisou river. Along the length of the beach road there are several good fish restaurants.

On the beach of Nea Chora during the summer there is a sardine festival, with song and dance and a abundance of fish to be enjoyed, free of charge, by anyone wishing to participate.

Sintrivani

The Sintrivani (fountain) Square is known today as Eleftherios Venizelos Square. It is located next to the busy waterfront of the old port and from here all the active streets of the old town start (or end).
Sintrivani - or Black Mountain Square as it was called during the time of the Cretan Republic - while small was a popular square, a center for meetings and discussion for the people of Chania. It was a paved square and there were coffee shops, hotels, clubs and shops selling new luxury products. It takes its name from a massive fountain, decorated with lion heads and marble water basins. Pieces of the fountain can be seen in the Archeological Museum of Chania. At the exit of the square, today Xalido Street, on the side of the port, the City Hall building still exists. It has subsequently been used as the Admiralty building during the Venetian Occupation and later as a civilian hospital.

Venizelos gave his political speeches from the balconies of the buildings of the square. He was buried here in 1936. This was also where the citizens gathered to announce the formation of the Anti Dictatorship Movement against Metaxas in 1938.

During the time of independence as the "Cretan Republic" and under the protection of the Great Powers of the time and in the years to follow, Sintrivani continued to hold an important place in the lives of the people of Chania.

It was the central square of Chania, which still is the capital of Crete. It was the cosmopolitan "hang out" of the aristocrats, the scholars, the artists and the politicians who met at the cafes and clubs of the square to discuss recent local, national and international political matters and developments.

Today, pulsing with life, it remains the principal square of the old town of Chania and is full of cafes, restaurants and various shops.

Splantzia

The district of Splantzia is southeast of the Kasteli Hill. During the years of the Turkish Occupation this was the Turkish Quarter of the city. The main square of Splantzia, today called 1821 Square, was a meeting place for the Turks in the same way that Sintrivani was for the Christians.

The Venetian church of Saint Nicholas, which is part of the monastery of the Dominican Monks, (part of the monastery remains to this day, north of the church) was turned in to the central mosque of the city in honour of the Sultan Sultan Imbraim. It was called "Hugar's Mosque", meaning the Emperor's Mosque. Following 1919 Hugar's Mosque was transformed into the Orthodox church of Saint Nicholas. There is still strong evidence of Turkish architecture as minarets remain on one corner of the church's façade.

In contrast to the Saint Nicholas Church which was impacted by Turkish architecture, the church of Saint Rokko, also Venetian, retained its identity throughout the Turkish Occupation and the subsequent phases of history.

In the center of the neighborhood, beneath the gigantic Plane tree, (a spot where Christian Martyrs were executed during the Turkish occupation), and under the elegant Arabic pavilion, there once was an underground reservoir with hydrants. Today, the tables of the coffee shop sit under the Plane tree offering its shade during the hottest days of the summer and offering a respite from the long walks through the old town of Chania.

More About Rea Hotel

Rea Resort Hotel in
Chania, Crete, Greece


Stavros, Akrotiri, Chania
Tel:  +30 28210 39001-4
Fax: +30 28210 97504
E-mail: info@rearesorthotel.gr

explore chania with arrow