Hania Fortifications

The Hania Fortifications are located in the city of Chania on the island of Crete. It used to be a defensive wall and fortification against invaders on the island. The Hania Fortifications were up to 20 m high. It is surrounded by a ditch that is 60 m wide and 15 m deep. The fortifications of Chania had corners and were reinforced by bastions. These bastions are San Salvatore Bastion, San Dimitrio Bastion, Santa Lucia Bastion, and Mocenigo Bastion. There are three main gates, these are Porta San Salvatore, Porta Retimiota, and Porta Sabbionara. All gates would open at sunrise and close at sunset. Inside the Hania Fortifications was a second fortifying wall surrounding the Kastelli. At present, only small parts of the walls survive around Old Town. Parts of the Byzantine walls can still be seen in Sintrivani square. 

The fortifications in Hania are not just tourist attractions with scenic views. It plays a big part in the history of Chania, and the island of Crete. It tells the story of how the island fought against invaders and conquerors. The early inhabitants of the island protected its territory by building walls and fortifications. Nowadays, only a few of the protective walls remain, and it has been a tourist spot since then. Tourists who visit the Hania Fortifications will also love hiking and walking tours around the area. One can easily explore the nearest cafés, museums, and local markets. There are several ways to explore and tour going to the Hania Fortification. One can opt to use a public bus or taxi. Car rental Crete is one of the prominent car rentals on the island. Going around Hania Fortifications is just a breeze using a rented car. It is a lot more convenient and provides more flexibility. Most car rental companies offer online booking for faster transactions.

Inside Chania Fortification

What is the history of Hania Fortifications?

The history of Hania Fortifications dates back to the Byzantine Empire, which rebuilt the existing wall established by Cydonia. During the 6th and 7th centuries, the Byzantine Empire reinforced these walls. The Byzantines then retook the city and built a new fortress on the hill of Kastelli. Crete was occupied by Venetians in the 13th century, and during those times they built new fortifications in Chania, because of the threat of Ottoman Empire expansion. Then the Ottoman-Venetian War broke out and the Ottomans besieged the city. After the siege, the Ottomans restored the breached walls. In the early 20th century, part of the walls on the south side were demolished by the Cretan State, limiting the expansion of the city.

What are the Hania Fortifications?

The Hania Fortifications are a set of walls and other fortifications that protect the city of Chania. The inner city walls were built in ancient times, and the Byzantine Empire rebuilt them. By the 16th century, the outer walls were built by the Republic of Venice. The Ottomans restored the breached walls and later on renovated them. Parts of the walls on the south side were demolished by the Cretan State at the beginning of the 20th century. The shape of the fortifications is square, and the corners were reinforced by bastions.

1. Venetian Walls

The island of Crete was occupied by the Venetians in the 13th century. They settled within the Byzantine walls on the hill of Kastelli. The settlement grew, and a number of walled towns outside the city walls. Over time, the walls were modified, and their height increased. The expansion of the Ottoman Empire became a threat to the Venetians, so they decided to build new fortifications in Chania. The fortifications were completed in 1568.

Chania Fortification in Firkas Chania

2. Ottoman Rule

The 5th Ottoman-Venetian War started when the Ottoman Navy arrived off Crete on June 23, 1645. They besieged the city for 56 days. After the siege, the Ottomans rehabilitated the breached walls and later on renovated them. In the early 20th century, the Cretan state demolished parts of the walls, limiting the growth of the city.

3. Hellenistic and Byzantine Walls

Cydonia, is a settlement known to have existed on the site of modern Chania. Cydonia was surrounded by walls during the Hellenistic period. These were reinforced by the Byzantine Empire, before the city was destroyed by Saracens in 828. Eventually, the Byzantines retake the city and build a new fortress.

Remains of the Byzantine walls in Chania

Where is Hania Fortifications located?

Hania Fortifications is located in the city of Chania, Crete. It is a series of defensive walls that surround the city. The inner city was first built by the Byzantine Empire. While the outer walls were built by the Venetians during the 16th century.

How many people live in Hania Fortifications Crete?

Chania has a total population of  51,687. There are about 25,375 men living in Chania. While the population of women is 26,312. The number of kids is 2,204. While the total number of elderly is 16, these are people who are over 100 years old.

What to know before going to Hania Fortifications?

Hania Fortifications is a must-visit when in Chania. The Hania Fortifications will take one back to the old Chania with its old port, historical castle and graphic buildings. Tourists can enjoy walking and exploring the fortress, and there are plenty of shades under the trees. There is also a Maritime Museum in the area. When planning to visit the Hania Fortifications, make sure to wear comfortable clothing, as it can get really hot during summer. The hottest month of the year is July, with an average daily maximum of 32 C. Make sure to bring around a bottle of water when exploring the Hania Fortifications. A comfortable pair of shoes is recommended, especially if it entails a lot of walking. It is a great place to explore, and it is recommended for children of all ages.

What are the Hiking Routes for Hania Fortifications?

Hiking is one way of discovering the Hania Fortifications. There are several hiking routes in Chania, and range from easy to the most difficult. One hiking route starts from the road of Chania to Sougia through the Arcadian country towards the White Mountains. The route passes through steep terraces of olive groves. The Agia Irini gorge to the left, the road emerges at a long curving shingle beach. This route is moderately easy. There are also walking tours around the Hania Fortifications. Leaving the Neorio MORO, pass behind the street by the big car park to exit in the KOUM KAPI gate between the old and new city. There is an entrance on the Venetian fortification wall named Sabbionara fort. On the left, exit the Old City to a new one, called Koum Kapi. This is where the remains of the Venetian landmark are located.

Chania Fortress Wall

Is Hania Fortifications safe?

Yes, Hania Fortifications is safe to visit. Tourists can enjoy their walk within the area without fearing for their safety. Chania and the entire island of Crete are very safe places to visit. Chania’s neighbourhoods are all relatively safe and should not be feared.

When is the best time to visit Hania Fortifications?

The best time to visit Hania Fortifications is between June and September. Chania has a Mediterranean climate, with mostly hot, dry summers and mild winters. Tourists will be able to enjoy the beach during those months. Check the Crete Travel guide for be ready when the time comes

What is the best vehicle for visiting Hania Fortifications?

There is available local bus transportation in Crete, but renting a private car is the best vehicle for visiting Hania Fortifications. Tourists can go to many beautiful spots on their own using a rented car. Just make sure to always check the requirements for renting a car.

Can you rent a car to get to the Hania Fortifications?

Yes, you can rent a car to go to the Hania Fortifications. While there are available public buses on the road, it is recommended to rent a car, especially for tourists. Renting a car in Crete will give tourists the freedom and flexibility to travel on their own. There are several car rental companies offering services going to Hania Fortifications and tourists can choose among them who offers the best and most affordable service.

What are the factors to consider before renting a car in Crete?

Listed below are the factors to consider before renting a car in Crete.

  • Insurance. Insurance is important when renting a car in Crete. It includes insurance for Collision Damage waiver, and a credit or debit card driver is required as a guarantee. Car rental insurance protects a passenger against the cost of damage that may happen when renting a vehicle.
  • Driver’s age. Aside from a  valid licence, age is one of the factors to consider when renting a car in Crete. The legal age needed for a car rental driver is 21 years old. A driving licence is also required.
  • Driver’s gender. Gender doesn’t matter. As long as the driver is of the legal age of 18, driving regardless of gender is allowed in Crete. While some may prefer male drivers, a female can drive and rent a vehicle in Crete Car Rental.
  • Car type. There are several cars for particular passengers available for rent in Crete. Opting for a smaller car is best when driving in Crete.  The main reason is that some Greek roads are narrow, especially those in the mountain areas. There are noticeable smaller cars on the roads too.
  • Documents needed for renting a car. Most people think that the only document needed for renting a car is a driving licence. However, that is not the case. Most car rental owners in Crete require a credit or debit card with the driver’s name on it.

How much does a car rental in Crete cost?

Exploring the beautiful island of Crete using a rented car is highly recommended. The car rental cost in Crete varies depending on the location, the number of passengers, itinerary, car type, and duration. The average cost of renting a car in Crete is around €30 to €40 per day. Renting a car for a whole week will cost on average €250, while renting for the weekend will cost around  €78. Affordable Crete car rental varies depending on the car type. Booking online is one convenient way of availing a car rental service.

What is the contribution of Hania Fortifications to Crete Tourism?

The tourism industry in Greece, especially on the island of Crete, has become the fastest tourism market in Greece. It has recorded a 60% growth in the past six years. Crete is well known to have its long tradition and history, especially in culture. It is also very safe for tourists from around the globe. There are many great places to visit in Crete, and one of them is the Hania Fortifications. The Hania Fortifications are one way of discovering and understanding the ancient life of Greece. It is an important part of Chania and how it protects the city from invaders during those times. A tourist who loves history and likes to visit historical sites will definitely appreciate the Hania Fortifications. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the global tourism industry has been greatly affected. Travelling is prohibited during the peak of Covid-19. The tourism industry in Crete has declined, and there are no tourists coming to the island. Now that the world has opened its way, especially in travelling, the tourism industry is expected to be back in Crete. A total of 4.55 million international tourists visited Greece between January and July 2021. This only shows that people are now back to travelling and spending their holidays in beautiful places. The travel restrictions are also improving, but still observing Covid-19 health protocols.

What are the movies about Hania Fortifications?

At present, there are no films about Hania Fortifications so far. Although, it may be a good location for a movie. Furthermore, the rich history of the Hania Fortifications may be an interesting story for a film.

Is Hania Fortifications in UNESCO World Heritage Sites?

No, the Hania Fortifications are not included in UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Crete. Although it is a historical landmark in Crete, it has a rich history.

Why are Hania Fortifications considered archaeological sites?

Hania Fortifications is considered an archaeological site because there is evidence of physical activity that remains in the area. The construction of the massive walls and fortifications were proof that there were past human activities that happened in the area.