Chania Ancient Kydonia

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Location: Town

The ruins of Ancient Kydonia can be found in the Old Town of Chania, intertwined with the modern part of the city. Most of them are located in the area of the old port, on the hill of Kastelli.

It is believed that Ancient Kydonia used to be the third most powerful city in Crete during antiquity. Its location near the port contributed to its development, making Ancient Kydonia a commercial center that flourished during the Minoan Era. The city used to have its own coins, which only the most powerful cities could boast, and they depicted King Kydon, the mythical founder of Kydonia.

Kydonia spent a long period as part of the Roman and Byzantine Empires, starting in 69 BC and lasting until the Arab conquest of the island in the 820s. During this time an earthquake classed as extreme hit western Crete in 365 and it is believed that Kydonia suffered great damage.

Although the construction of newer buildings on top of the ancient ruins did not stop as the centuries passed, archeological excavations brought to light various ancient findings, mainly in the area of the Venetian port.
The findings not only include ruins from the Minoan settlement but also objects dating back to the Neolithic Period. Murals, ceramics, mosaics and writing tablets in both Linear A and Linear B have been recovered among other items, many of which are currently on display at the Archeological Museum of Chania.
A big part of the city cannot be restored since it is located beneath the modern part of Chania, although findings suggest the existence of a huge necropolis with various types of tombs.

The main excavations are located at the crossroads of Kanevaro and Kantanoleon Streets, while a second excavation site, believed to be the site of the Minoan Palace, is located near Katre Street. The finds discovered in these two locations are held at the Archaeological Museum of Chania.



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