The first capital of Crete lies at the foot of the often snow-capped peaks of Lefka Ori, the White Mountains.

The population is approximately 60,000.

A fishing port, the old town is criss-crossed with alleyways and seems ‘frozen in time’.

Beyond the ramparts of the old Venetian and Ottoman settlement is a prosperous industrial area.

With the arrival of the Venetians in 1252 Chania began to look like the place we see today with the old districts radiating from the crescent-shaped quayside. But like the rest of the island Chania fell into the hands of the Turks in 1645 and they set about building mosques and restoring the city ramparts.

In 1851 the Turks set up their Cretan headquarters for their Ottoman administration in Chania. The town kept its status as capital of Crete well beyond the declaration of independence. It was not until 1971 that Irakalion took over as capital.

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