Chania is the most important town of western Crete, built on the eastern part of Chania bay, on the site of the ancient town Cydonia. The town existed till the late Byzantine period when it was totally destroyed by the Saracens (828AD). Although bombed and burned several times in its long history, the old town of Chania is considered among the most beautiful cities of the Mediterranean (named the "Venice of the East"). In narrow scenic alleys with taverns and beautiful shops, the visitor will meet samples of all civilizations that passed through Crete.
This fortress was originally built by the Byzantines on the acropolis of ancient Cydonia, on a hill next to the present medieval City of Chania. This point is still the highest in the region, as you look at the right when walking to the Venetian harbor.
The Minoan Kydonia was built at the current location of the old town of Chania. Kydonia was the third largest town of Minoan Crete. Here developed a thriving craft industry and the town became rich through sea trade, which was favored by its position. Indeed, the ancient writers mention Kydonia as the mother of the Cretan towns.