The People & The Lighthouse
Jan 13, 2021
The people, the history and the lighthouse ...
Let me dreaming ... summertime!
I love all people, history of my island, but what about this architectural miracle?
The lighthouse at the old harbor of Chania is surely the landmark of this amazing small town of Crete.
The story of the lighthouse starts many years ago, although its present form dates back to the Egyptian Occupation of Crete (in the early 19th century).
The Venetians, under the threat of the Turks, in the late 16th century, started fortifying all towns throughout Crete (Heraklion, Rethimno, Ierapetra, etc. 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 harbor of Chania and the lighthouse were neglected and abandoned.
In 1839, the Egyptians restored the lighthouse as we see it today.
The base of the lighthouse is still the original Venetian base although the Lion of St. Marc which was carved there has long gone.
Today’s tower stands at 21m height and is visible within 7 miles.
The lighthouse is located at the end of a long mole that protects the Venetian harbor from the sea.
It is well worth walking all the way to the end of it as you get splendid views from the harbour.
Image by M. Rovithis