Chania Old Harbour – Pension Nora
Pension Nora located in Chania old harbor
Chania’s ideal location often serves as a base for those who like to adventure and explore the surrounding peninsulas, mountains and gorges during the daytime but who also like to return to the vibrant and enchanting atmosphere of the Venetian Harbour in the evenings.
Indeed, the owner of the Pension, Eftihis, is born and bred in Chania and speaks fluent English. Thus, his knowledge of the district will enable you to make the most of your holiday, discover the hidden side of natural Crete and escape to idyllic sandy beaches.
Formerly the island capital until 1971, and the site of Ancient Kydonia, Chania is probably Crete’s most appealing town. With its attractive waterfront and harbour, exotic blend of architectural styles and the backdrop of the White Mountains, it is extremely picturesque. Chania is also a lively and bustling working town best seen on foot and armed with a good street plan.
The area that we are located in is known as Topanas which originates from the Turkish word ‘Top-Hane’ meaning guns and cannons. This correlates to the old rectangular Venetian building at the beginning of Theotokopoulou Street that was used to store gun powder.
The word and street. Theotokopoulou, incidentally, is named after the very famous Cretan painter Dornenicos Theotokopoulous from the 15″ and 16t Century who was known in Spain and Italy as El Greco!
As you walk around the Old Town, still in the region of the Outer Harbour, you will firstly discover the Evraki District vvhich vvas the Jevvish area and still homes a working synagogue on Kondilaki Street. This is also a great area for weaving in and out the alleyways and falling upon interesting little shops.
Behind the Mosque, which is directly across from the Outer Harbour, is a distinctive hill. This district is the oldest part of Chania and is known as Kastelli. Taken from the Venetian word for ‘castle’ it was the site of the Venetian Rector’s Palace. It is worth noting that this area has been in continuous human occupation for the past 6000 years and evidence of Neolithic man has been unearthed there.
If you continue around the harbour to the Inner Harbour. and what was the location of the original docks and Venetian Arsenals, you will corne to the Turkish quarters known as Splantzia. The 1821 square is also steeped in history- In that year the Bishop of Kissamos was brutally dragged out of the church of Saint Nicholas by a Turkish gang and hanged on the large Plane tree that stands there still today. Gruesome !