The Old Jewish Quarter
in Chania Old Town

Imagine the Jewish quarter of Chania old town, as the area located behind the harbor and east by the Christian quarter of Topanas, surrounded by the streets of Chalidon     1  , Zambeliou   2  , Skoufon   3   and Portou   4  .

Main street of the Jewish quarter was the Kondilaki street that starts at the harbour and extends to the south, up to the southern walls of Chania old town, where lies the circular bastion of Lando.

Notice that Kondilaki street is wider compared to the other alleys of the quarter. The Venetians who built the city, made this street wide enough, so that the carts that carried supplies and munitions from the ships, would be able to pass through the city, towards the south city walls. 

It is not quite true when exactly the Jewish immigrated in Chania. Some people argue that came from other regions of Crete, where was living, in the 15th century during the Venetian rule. Other say that they came in Chania, as well as to other regions of Crete, during the Ottoman rule. 

Whatever is the correct answear, there were two synagogues built in the Jewish quarter of Chania.

One was completely destroyed by the bombardment of the city of Chania by the Nazi aircrafts in World War II, and the other one abandoned when the Jewish community dissolved in 1944. 

Very few Jewish people were lucky enough to escape the Nazis. Those who captured were sent to the concentration camps of Auschwitz, but the ship that carried them, sunk on its way from Crete to Athens, Greece.

Many years later, in the mid-1990s, the Jewish synagogue of Etz Hayyim, that hadn't destroyed during the bombardment, was restored and since then is in a use byway the Kondilaki street. 

Today, the Kondilaki street and the alleys of the old Jewish quarter, are some of the busiest streets of the old town of Chania, during summer.



› Old Jewish Quarter