Halidon Street 30, Chania
The Archaeological Museum of Chania is located next to the Venetian harbor and is housed in the church of the old Venetian monastery of Agios Fragiskos (St Francis) of the Franciscans.
The exhibition is divided into two major sections. The eastern section hosts findings from the Neolithic until the Late Minoan period and the western part hosts objects from the Geometric period until Roman times. At each showcase objects are classified either according their location or object category. The collections include Minoan findings from the city and the prefecture of Chania, prehistoric findings from caves, tombs of the Geometric Era, historical findings from the city of Chania and from various other towns, coins, jewelry (prehistoric and historic Times), sculptures, inscriptions, columns, mosaics.
The Museum also hosts the collection of Mitsotakis family donated to the Archaeological Museum of Chania in 2000 and occupies three small rooms.
History of the building
The monastery survives altered mainly during the Ottoman domination, but also in modern times. At the south side there was the double gallery with the monk cells and other buildings. Today the gallery is largely integrated into the houses and shops next to the entrance of modern Catholic Church. The north part of the church is marked on maps with a nice garden, similar to the current garden that operates since the operation of the temple as a mosque. On the eastern side of the monument still stands the base of the high bell tower.
During the Ottoman Era, the temple was converted into a mosque, the mosque of Yusuf Pasha. Then, the Turks added at the northwest side the minaret (today ruined) and an octagonal fountain in the courtyard. It was later used as a cinema, called Ideon Andron, and after the Second World War it was a military storehouse. The building was restored in the late 1970s.