The Museums of Chania: An Arc of Civilization

From relieving stress and to expanding your knowledge horizons, from  pondering different morals to sparking juicy conversations, visiting a museum is an endless fountain of inspiration. While traveling away from familiar territories to unknown destinations, paying a visit to a local museum is a portal to local colors and insights onto the history and customs of the new surroundings.

Unfortunately, Chania’s history is too long and multifaceted to be kept into a single museum. On the city’s map you can trace different thematic museums that complement your preferences and stimulate your interest. Most likely you will find yourself lucky to meet locals with similar interests, who can share valuable tips for your Chania quest.

But you do t have to wait to meet the locals at Chania Yachting! We have rounded up their suggestions of the local museums which are worth your visit and could offer your something more than a dry museum tour.  

The New Archaeological Museum of Chania

Preserving Chania’s and Crete’s long history, the New Archaeological Museum of Chania at the quarter of Chalepa is not merely a contemporary architectural gem, it is also the home of 3,500 exhibits dating back to the Minoan era – one third of them being exhibited for the first time. The museum’s mission is to narrate Crete’s history through time. Following Crete’s long tradition of hospitality, it’s open, friendly, and interactive atmosphere combined with a breathtaking vista over the city and Sea, invites its guests to pay more than a typical visit: it welcomes them to savor the experience of a lasting memory in its premises.

 

The Botanical Park of Chania

Though not a museum per se, the Botanical park is an immense garden that aims at sustaining the flora of the Cretan land and sharing its unique beauty with nature lovers around the world. Located at the footsteps of White Mountains around 15km outside the city, the walk around the typical Cretan landscape takes you through paths on terraces filled with local and exotic plants, in particular unique varieties of citrus and herbs. Moreover, the uninterrupted view of the White Mountains in the South and the Cretan Sea in the North transforms your visit to the Botanical Park into a memorable experience. After finishing your tour around this 20 hectare site, take the time to sip an invigorating cup of tea made with local herbs at the beautiful terrace of the restaurant that operates during opening hours.

 

The Municipal Art Gallery

At the beginning of Chalidon Street that leads to the Old Venetian Harbour, art lovers shouldn’t miss out on the Municipal Art Gallery. For 40 years, the three storey building of the Gallery boasts more than 1,200 works in its permanent collection, mainly paintings and sculptures – ranging from 18th century to current works. Notably, during the summer period, the Gallery hosts thematic exhibitions and launches projects like international educational seminars, speeches, and meetings that celebrate contemporary and old Cretan artists. The Gallery’s board envisions making Chania an artistic hive for all of the Mediterranean and Europe, taking the extra step to reinforcing the international identity of the city. 

 

The Eleuterios Venizelos Routes

Eleftherios Venizelos, perhaps the most emblematic political figure of Greece in the 20th century, is strongly connected to Chania through a series of different monuments. His house-museum in the Chalepa quarter is definitely the place to start your familiarization with his influence on the fate of Greece’s history during the First World War, the Minor Asia conquest, and the annexation of Crete while at Akrotiri, where you can visit his monumental grave, a site with one of the most enchanting views over the city of Chania. In Theriso, a few kilometers outside the city and after driving through the 11km impressive Gorge of Therisos, you can find the headquarters of the the 1905 Revolution against the Ottoman Empire that led to the autonomy of Crete. Today, the Municipal Library of Chania hosts the rich private collection of his books, a treasure of rare publications ranging from philosophy and literature to political sciences and history. Interestingly, the National Research Foundation bearing his name has created an application that allows the user to travel in time and meet these landmarks in Venizelos’ life with special reference to history, architecture, the natural environment and gastronomy of Chania.

 

The Museum of Typograpgy

Typographic machines, tools, accessories and many more exhibits that relate to the art and practice of typography have been collected and presented at the Museum of Typography in Chania, the first one of its kind in Greece. The permanent collection of the Museum is being continouusly renewed and enriched with more exhibits that manage to capture the historical evolvement of Typography and graphic arts since its beginning in the 15th century with Gutenberg’s project. Since 2005 when the Museum opened its doors to the public, two more wings have been added to its premises covering more than 1,200 square meters of exhibition spaces, cafes, libraries, and amphitheaters. During the guided or interactive tour, all visitors are encouraged to print at printing presses, so that they can experience first hand the process of printing and typesetting. It is needless to stress here that the Museum’s location in the region of Apokoronas, is perhaps the one of the most iconic landscapes of mainland Crete, with the panoramic view of the White Mountains leaving the guests in awe!

 

…and so many more!

Another great museum to visit is the Nautical Museum of Crete in the Venetian Fortress of Firkas. Position at the mouth of the Old Port of Chania, the museum houses the marine history of Crete from the Minoan times to the Second World War. Not far away from the Nautical Museum, the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Art Museum is hosted in Theotokopoulou Street, at the Orthodox quarter of the Old City and close nearby you may trace the Folklore Museum of Chania, “The Cretan House”. Its collection consists of hundreds of exhibits that help the visitor picture the everyday life and routine of Cretan homes during the 18th and 19th century. Tools, cookware and kitchenware, home handicrafts, decorative arte facts are among the items exhibited in the Museum, a “must-go” for those who have a keen interest in laography and the way life took place in the last three centuries.

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