Indeed, the most recognizable part of small, picrturesque town of Chania is the lighthouse.
But what is the story behind this unique architectural monument?
The story of the lighthouse starts a long ago, although its present form dates back since the Egyptian Occupation of Crete (in the early 19th century).
The original Venetian lighthouse was built from Venetians around the late 16th century to protect the harbour from the Turks. A chain could be connected from the base of the lighthouse to the fortress of Firkas in oder to close the harbour.
In the period 1595-1601 they made great interventions at the port of Chania. At the center of the breakwater, they built the bastion of St. Nicholas, which together with the fortress of Firkas, could protect the harbor entrance. At that time they also built the lighthouse.
The current lighthouse tower is mounted on a trapezoidal base which holds since the Venetian Era. During the Turkish Occupation, the harbour of Chania and the lighthouse were neglected and abandoned. In 1839, the Egyptians restored the lighthouse as we see today.
The Egyptian lighthouse was leaning badly due to bombings during WWII and earthquakes but it was extensively renovated in 2005 and now looks as good as new.
The lighthouse, 21m height and visible within 7 miles, is located at the end of a long mole that protects the Venetian harbour from the rough sea, especially in winter. Walk all the way to the end and you will be rewarded with stunning views from the Old Venetian Harbour and part of Chania.Sadly the lighthouse itself is closed so you are not able to get into.
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