Chania Kydonia Byzantine Walls

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Location: Town

Excavations at the Kastelli quarter proved that present-day Chania was built on the site of ancient Kydonia, which was a flourishing city during the Roman period. This is why many graves, a rich collection of pottery from different periods, frescoes from the late Minoan period, and a magnificent mosaic from the late Hellenistic period were all discovered here.

Crete easily transitioned between the Roman and Byzantine periods. The Byzantines built a wall in Kydonia between the 6th and 7th centuries, by following the foundations of older, Hellenistic walls. The island was then taken by the Arabs, also known as the Saracens, who destroyed Kydonia in 828. After the Byzantines retook Crete, they built a new fortress. The walls of this fortress enclosed the area of Kastelli hill and were built using recycled materials from ancient houses.

Kydonia, along with the rest of the island, fell under Venetian control after the Fourth Crusade. The population in the city, which became known as Canea, grew rapidly and people started settling outside the Byzantine walls. This prompted the Venetians to build a new set of fortifications, which were built between 1336 and 1356.

Following this expansion, the Byzantine walls ceased to serve any purpose, and eventually fell into disrepair. They have since been brilliantly integrated with the rest of the settlement, forming an integral part of Kastelli today. The southern wall is still visible today, running along Sifaka Street, while sections of the northern wall are visible from the promenade.



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