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The lighthouse and the breakwater in Chania
The Venetian harbour of Chania was constructed between 1320 and 1356. It was noticed at once that they had thought wrongly, partly because the port became too shallow (siltation caused by sewage), and partly because the problems with the strong northerly winds. To solve the problem with the strong winds they built the breakwater that is still there.
The Venetian harbour with the lighthouse and the breakwater.
The lighthouse is beautifully illuminated in the evenings.
It is as beautiful during the day as in the evening.
The dilapidated harbour was restored during the Egyptian occupation (1821-1841). The then lighthouse (from the 17th century) was demolished and replaced with the one we see today. The architectural prototype of Muslim minarets is clear.
About in the middle of the breakwater is the San Nicolo Bastion, which is one of many bastions in the Old Town of Chania. A restaurant was housed in the bastion when I was in Chania for the first time. It was called Fortezza and it was very popular. At that time, boats plied between the Venetian port and Restaurant Fortezza. I do not know why the restaurant has closed down.
Restaurant Fortezza in the San Nicolo Bastion in the past.
The San Nicolo Bastion today.
If you stay overnight in the Venetian harbour (as I have done), you have this beautiful view.
The long breakwater and the San Nicolo Bastion and the impressive lighthouse.
The breakwater and the lighthouse form a beautiful background in the evenings.
This zoomed-in photo was taken in the sunset, from the park on the other side of the lighthouse.
The lighthouse just before a storm pulls in.
If you walk along the breakwater all the way to the lighthouse, you have a fantastic view of the Venetian harbour. To the left in the picture below, you see an ochre-coloured building, it is the old Firkas Fortress which houses the Maritime Museum of Crete, which was inaugurated in 1973. The museum contains objects from Crete's marine history. The Firkas Fortress was built in 1620 for the purpose of protecting the harbour entrance. To enter the Firkas Fortress, you go through the arch at the entrance of the Maritime Museum, and continue upstairs.
The Maritime Museum of Crete, the Firkas Fortress, the flag, the lighthouse and the breakwater.
The Firkas (or Firka) Fortress is interesting in a historical point of view. It was here the Greek flag was raised on December 1, 1913, as a symbol of Crete's union with the rest of Greece. The flag was raised where today's (see the arrow) Greek flag is raised. The fortress also has a dark history, the basement was used as a prison for a long time, many of Crete's freedom fighters have been locked up here. Just behind the fortress is the Monastery of San Salvatore. I do not know why the lighthouse looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the picture. It just happened. :-)
The lighthouse seen from the Firka Fortress.
The breakwater and the lighthouse in 1918. (Photographer unknown.)
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