History of the Venetian Harbour of Chania

The port of Chania was constructed by the Venetians during the period of their colonization in Crete, and more specifically between 1320 and 1356, and was an important center for the service of the Venetian military fleet as well as one of the most important commercial ports of the eastern Mediterranean.
In the 16th century, due to the prominent Turkish threat, the new Venetian plans of the fortification of the city included the harbour. In the next first period of Ottoman rule, the port continued to be a trade center. Initially, only the western basin was used.

In the years of the Egyptian rule, many repairs were done to correct several problems. Later, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the larger ships of the time were forced to anchor out of the old harbor and then boats to approach the pier. Thus, the old Venetian harbour of Chania is gradually abandoned and the large natural harbour of Souda, which until today serves the passenger and commercial movement of western Crete, is used.

We recommend that you see the Venetian harbour from the west to the east:

  • The Firka Fortress with the Naval Museum
  • The Santrivani (Eleftherios Venizelos Square)
  • Yali Mosque (the oldest Muslim building of Crete)
  • The Byzantine walls of the Kasteli hill
  • The Great Arsenal
  • The Venetian Corridors
  • The Bastion of St. Nicholas of Molos on the jetty
  • The Venetian Lighthouse