Venizelos tombs

Location: Akrotiri   

The Tombs of Venizelos in Chania Crete: On the road from Chania Town to Akrotiri and the airport, on top of a hill with panoramic view to the town, there are the tombs of two great politicians of Greece: Eleftherios Venizelos and his son, Sophocles Venizelos.

Eleftherios Venizelos is among the most prominent political figures in modern Greece. Born in 1864 in the then Turkish-occupied Crete, he took active part in revolutionary movements of the locals for the liberation of Crete and in the negotiations with the Turks. He served the Greek State as prime minister 7 times and died in 1936 self-exiled in Paris.

The Cretans and all Greeks have a deep respect for Venizelos, whose personal efforts in the early 20th century made Greece double in territories and set the foundations for a modern social state. Venizelos himself had asked to be buried on this spot in Crete, east of his family house in the quarter of Chalepa in Chania Town and with great view to the town, the Aegean Sea and the White Mountains.

Next to the tomb of Eleftherios Venizelos, there is the tomb of his son, Sophocles Venizelos, also prime minister of Greece from 1943 to 1952. Next to the tombs, which are found at a distance of 5 km from Chania Town, there is the Monastery of Prophet Elias, established in the 16th century.

At the bell tower of this monastery, the flag of the last Cretan revolution was raised in 1897. After this revolution, Crete was declared a free state for fee years and then it was united to the rest of Greece. In memory of this last revolution, there is the statue of fighter Spyros Kayales or Kayaledakis close to the tombs. During the great bombardment of the Cretan revolutionaries by the fleet of the Great Powers in February 1897, Kayales made his body a flagpole to hold the Greek flag, which had been shot down by the shells.

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