Chania Tabakaria

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Location: Halepa

Tabakaria is an important piece of history for the city of Chania. It is a small abandoned district on the east rocky shore of the city, right next to the sea. In the early 19th century, more specifically from 1830 until 1840, while Crete was under Egyptian rule, a number of tanners were asked to move into the district and start their operations there. The name of the district derives from the Turkish word, tabak, meaning tanner shop. For the next 100 years, more than 80 tanner shops were operating in the area, but after World War II, they started to close down, as new technology emerged, with only a handful working today.

The stone-built structures of Tabakaria with their traditional red roof tiles give visitors the feeling that they are in a different era that is extinct these days. These tanner shops were established in an ideal location at the time, not too far from the city center, but far enough to not disturb the locals with their overwhelming smell. This location, right next to the sea, has an important role in its beauty today, as it provides a lovely background to already picturesque houses of the district, to complete an amazing image!

Nowadays, the district has been described as a ghost town. Many buildings of Tabakaria have been abandoned and only a few have been preserved or renovated, such as certain hotels and restaurants. However, that is the appeal of the area! Visitors get the chance to see an old district of the 19th century, changed only by the wear and tear of time, without any other interference, a true journey through time, with major influence from three different cultures and civilizations!



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