Venizelos Graves

Chania

Venizelos Graves
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The graves of Venizelos are located in a very historic location of Chania, next to the Venetian church of Prophet Elias at position Froudia with panoramic views to Chania. The temple was originally dedicated to the Prophet Elisha, while in the 16th century the nave of the Prophet Elijah was added.

The history of space is really dramatic and is surely worth knowing. During the last Cretan revolution of 1897 against the Turks, the Revolutionary Camp of Cretans camped at this place. In morning of February 9, 1897 fights between the Turks and the Cretans started and the latter hoisted the Greek flag at Froudia.

Eleftherios Venizelos, later Prime Minister of Greece, in the meanwhile tried to negotiate with the heads of the Great Powers (Russia, Italy, Britain), who did not want the autonomy of Crete. At noon of the same day, the Italian and the Russian fleet bombarded Froudia, where the Greek flag waived.

The bullets hit the flagpole and it fell to the ground. Then, the Cretan hero Spyros Kayaledakis or Kayalès, within a rain of bullets, grabbed the flag and raised it, making his body a flagpole. After a while the machine guns silenced. This symbolic event is represented on the statue of Kayalès that we see at the place of the Tombs.

During the bombardment of the hill by the Great Powers, the temple of Prophet Elijah was destroyed. It was later restored by the Russians, who felt that the explosion of a cannon on the Russian flagship, was the punishment of the Prophet Elias for the destruction of the temple.

At the area next to the temple the ethnarch Eleftherios Venizelos and his son Sophocles Venizelos , who also became a Prime Minister of Greece, were burried. On the tomb of Venizelos we read the funeral speech, written by himself, in 1932. This reads as following:

Dear friends, the dead here was a true man with courage and confidence, for him and the people that he was called to govern. Perhaps he made mistekes, but he never missed the courage, he was never a fatalist and never waited the fate so as to see his country in good condition, but he served this country with every possible mean, dedicated soul and body.

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Additional Info

  • Prefecture: Chania
  • Type: Tombs
  • Peak Period: Modern Greek (1913-Today)
  • Accessibility: Bus services, Paved road

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