Location: Town Don't miss: Museums guide (free admission dates and other useful info)
The Maritime Museum of Crete in Chania: The Maritime Museum of Crete is housed at the Venetian Firka fortress, placed at the entrance of the old harbor in Chania. This location has historical importance because on December, 1st, 1913, the Greek flag was raised there and signaled the unification of Crete with the Greek state. The initial idea behind the museum was to build a place that would depict the Greek naval tradition and especially the naval history of Crete.
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Indeed such a museum was founded in May 1973 by Vice Admiral A. Yannopoulos, who was serving as an Admiral Commander in Chania. The foundation and function of this museum were supported by many military officers and distinguished citizens of Crete.
The exhibits are classified in units today. The first exhibition goes back from the Prehistoric times till the 6th century B.C. and includes ship models and pictures representing naval battles from the Persian Wars and the Peloponnesian War. The following collection goes from the Byzantine to the post-Byzantine period. This period was particularly important for the Greek Navy because it marked the end of rowing and the enrichment of the Greek navy with other ships that worked in a more technologically advanced mode.
Apart from ship models, this collection also includes pictures that show the Byzantine naval power repelling the Barbarian threat. The collection of the Turkish occupation and the Greek War of Independence follows, with special reference to the fight of the Cretan people to unite with the rest of Greece. In the next decades, during the Balkan Wars and the two World Wars, the Greek Navy was equipped with modern, technologically-advanced ships, whose pictures and models are presented in the Maritime Museum of Crete. There is also reference to the recent state of the Greek Navy.
Furthermore, you can visit a shell exhibition that depicts the amazing beauty and diversity of the sea life as well as the fully-equipped library of the Museum. After much work done for its development, the Maritime Museum of Crete today competes for the European museums in quality of exhibits. It is open every day from morning till early in the afternoon.
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