is the capital city of the Municipality of Hania
, with 60.000 inhabitants. They are built at the site of the aqncient town of Kydonia, one of the oldest inhabited areas on the island. Its modern times name was given by the Arabs. In 1252, under the Venetian occupation, the town begun its fortification projects, which were finished in 1590. Hania
was the first town in Crete
occupied by the Turks, in 1654, until it was freed in 1898, when it also became the capital of the by then autonomous island. Today in Hania
, the visitor will distinguish the modern from the traditional parts of the town, which includes areas such as the Top Hana or Topana, the Jewish neighbourhood, the Santrivani, the Spalntzia or Plaza, and the Casteli.
Among the buildings surrounding the busy little port you will note the older structures of the venetian and the turkish occupation periods, as well as the newer buildings with modern architecture. The town monuments, its squares and its streets testify to its glorious history. Here you will also find many memorials to Eleftherios Venizelos, the great, forward looking politician who was born in the village of Mournies and spent a great part of his life in Hania. In the town, it is wothwile to visit the Halepa neighbourhood with the breathtaking mansions as well as the church of Saint Maria Magdalene, the arcaeological excavation sites of ancient Kidonia in Casteli (nearby the port) the metropolitan Cathedral, the Municipal and Zoologigal Gardens and the Municipal Market. Here, you will also find the Archaeological, Laographic, Historical and Nautical Museum as well as the Municipal Library