The Seaside Mosque
in Chania Harbour

The end of the Venetian rule in the city of Chania comes in 1645, when the Ottoman Turks invaded and occupied the city.

In this period, several buildings adapted to serve the needs and habits of the new conqueror. 

The existing Catholic churches built by the Venetians, converted into mosques, while at the same time new mosques constructed following the standards of the Turkish architecture. Minarets being erected and fountains needed to perform their ritual's washings, being added, as required by the Muslim religion. 

One of the earlier buildings of the Turks in Crete is the imposing mosque in the harbour, dedicated to the Kucuk Hasan, who was the first Turkish commandant of the city. It is called Giali Tzamissi, which means "The Seaside Mosque," because it was built next to the sea. 

The mosque is a square building with a large dome, and four stones arches, each joining each corner of the dome's base with the dome. 

The main interior space of the mosque, under the large dome, is partly surrounded by a corridor which runs the two sides facing the sea, and other seven small domes adorn the roof of the corridor.

The building suffered by the Nazis bombardment of 1941 during the second world war, and partially destroyed. At its southwest corner, there was a minaret of which only its base is preserved, and across the southern side of the mosque, there was a palm garden yard surrounded by high walls with doors and large windows, nearly identical to those doors and windows on the north and west facade of the mosque. 

Today the small interior of the building is primarily used as an exhibition space.

› The Seaside Mosque in Chania Harbour