Chania Sabbionara Rampart

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Location: Town

Sabbionara Rampart (more accurately “Sabbionara Bastion”), also called Kum Kapi, is located just east of the Old Port of Chania. Both its names translate into “Gate of Sand”, as it led directly to a small beach outside the city walls. Sabbionara is the northeastern bastion of the Venetian fortifications of Chania, built in 1536 to subvert Ottoman expansionism, which then targeted the island of Crete.

The gate used to offer direct passage from the beach to the center of the town. The gate was destroyed by the Ottoman invaders in 1645, who later rebuilt it, although the new installation was much smaller than the original. Kum Kapi is the only one of Chania’s three Venetian gates that still stands.

The bastion was built directly into the sea, and was originally known as Mocenigo Bastion, after a noble family of Venice, and to this day it proudly wears its unique Venetian style, with an emblem dedicated to Saint Mark, depicting a lion, placed on the wall in 1591. When Crete was incorporated into Greece, this location housed a gendarmerie academy until the 1940s, and a café named “the Sand Gate” stood on top of it in the 1960s. The southern section of the bastion, running parallel to Minoos Street, stood until World War II when it was heavily bombed by Axis forces.

In the early 20th century, a section of the wall was demolished (modern Epimenidou Street), separating the gatehouse from the rest of the bastion. Since used as a warehouse, the gatehouse was renovated in 2022 and now functions as a cultural center, housing various exhibitions.



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