MAMA NENA Charming Hotel

Chania

S hort history of Chania

Chania is the capital of the homonymous prefecture of Crete and the second largest town in the island after the city of Heraklion.
The town has been continuously inhabited for five millennia as recent excavations have shown. Remains of Minoan town of Kydonia (which first appeared in 3000BC) have been found in the Kasteli quarter of the old town. The town of Kydonia flourished in the Classical and Byzantine periods. In the Venetian times it was called La Canea, a name coming from the ancient Greek toponym Alchania. After 1851 it was the seat of the pasha of Crete, and in 1898 it became the capital of a semi-autonomous Cretan State, until 1913 when the island of Crete became officially part of Greece.

A tour around the town of Chania

A first-time visitor to Chania is surprised by the great number of buildings and monuments which track the great history and the rich civilisation of the town. The Old Town in particular, built upon the ruins of Minoan Kydonia, is a vibrant open-air museum presenting the cultural heritage of western Crete. MAMA NENA HOTEL, situated at the centre of the Old Port, is an ideal residence for those who wish to explore this heritage.

The Minoan civilisation in Chania left behind the remains of grand tombs, interesting ceramics and objects which are now on exhibit at the local archaeological museum. Archaeological findings and historic research have shown that -even after the end of the Minoan civilization- the town of Kydonia remained as a centre of power until the Roman times. During the Byzantine period Chania was still a powerful fortress town. During its occupation by the Venetians at first and the Turks later, people of different nationality, culture and religion co-existed. Christians (Greek Orthodoxs and Catholics), Jews and Muslims, have left discernible traces and produced particularly interesting landmarks. Walking along the Old Town, remnants of this coexistence can be seen all around.

Within a short walking distance from MAMA NENA HOTEL our guests can enjoy a tour of the magnificent Old Town. On the west side of the Old Port, in the neighbourhood of Topanas with its narrow paved streets, the visitor comes across manors with elaborately decorated facades and houses with architectural ornamentation. The Naval Museum of Crete in the Fort Firkas and the Byzantine collection of Chania housed in the church of San Salvatore (15th - 17th centuries AD) nearby, are of great interest.

Very close to the MAMA NENA HOTEL there is the synagogue and on Halidon street the church of St. Frangiskos. The church today houses the town's archaeological museum in which treasures from the Minoan to the Hellenistic period are exhibited. Visitors interested in ecclesiastic monuments can also see on Halidon street the Catholic Church, and just opposite the Catholic Church the Greek Orthodox Cathedral with its exquisite frescos.

Walking down the quay of the old port, starting from the Sintrivani square, one passes in front of the mosque (1645) and will find oneself opposite the harbour front which extends up to the Lighthouse. A little further away, the ruins of 7 out of the original 17 shipyards (Neoria) can be found (14th - 16th centuries AD). The Big Arsenal, which today is used as a conference and exhibition centre is an impressive landmark. Along the harbour front, small cafeterias and restaurants offer the visitor an opportunity to taste delicious Cretan dishes. On the hill of Kasteli the excavations of Minoan Kydonia and the ruins of the church of St. Maria of Mirakoli (1615) give an idea about the continuous habitation of the town through the centuries.

Along the "stivanadika" Street, which is one of the most popular, one can buy leather products. Nearby is the Public Art Gallery. In the old neighbourhood of Splantzia with its narrow streets and the small houses, visitors can see the former monastery οf St. Nicholas (1204) with a bell-tower and minaret, and the small church of St. Rokkos (1630). The church of St. Anargyri (16th century AD), near by, is famous for its decoration and the icons on the gilded wood-carved iconostasis.

Outside the Old Town fortification, to the east, we come across Koum-Kapi quarter, one of the most developed areas in Chania with bars and restaurants, a favourite meeting place for young people. A little further, in the neighbourhood of Halepa one can admire the "neoclassical" architecture of many Manors and Villas built at the end of the 19th century, such us the palace of Prince George, the house of Eleftherios Venizelos and the French School (1860).

In the town of Chania, besides the Old Town and some historical districts, one can also visit many other monuments and places of interest: the municipal park (1870) with its clock, the market (a cross-shaped building dating from 1913, with hundreds of small shops that sell Cretan products), the building of the court house and the prefecture, the Venizelion School of Music, the Historic Archives Museum, the War Museum and the Museum of Chemistry.

At the border of the town with the Akrotiri area, there are the graves of Eleftherios and Sofocles Venizelos. The sight offers a panoramic view of Chania and its surroundings. In Chania there is also the Polytechnic University of Crete and the Technological Education Institute of Crete.

In the past, the town of Chania was a crossroad between the East and the West for many centuries. For this reason it was claimed by its enemies and suffered the presence of many conquerors. In the present, the town of Chania has managed to preserve its cultural heritage and traditional architecture and to successfully combine it with its modern lifestyle. That's why, whatever the season is, Chania remains an ideal holiday destination.


The Region of Chania

Chania, the western Region of Crete, is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece. Combining a great natural beauty, an impressive coastline, history and culture, the visit to Chania could be an unforgettable experience whatever the season.

The White Mountain Range standing from the centre of the province separates the area in two contrasting landscapes: the rich and more populated coastal zone, with 415 km of coastline, and the less populated but more authentic mountainous hinterland.

The coastal zone offers organized beaches and yet to discover natural ones. Crystal clear waters are an invitation to a memorable swimming experience. Agii Apostoli, Platanias, Balos, Falassarna, Elafonisi, Palaiochora, Sougia, Loutro, Frangokastelo, Almyrida, Marathi ... are only some of the most beautiful beaches in Chania.

Almost untouched by time, the hinterland remains close to the typical Cretan way of life. Small traditional villages surrounded by olive and orange groves, snow topped mountains (December to May), gorges and caves, small remote chapels, ruins of ancient sites, castles etc. are waiting to be explored.

Looking forward to seeing you!