In Chania old town, the square of Sintrivani or the square of Eleftherios Venizelos, as is its official name, is the central square, encircled by cafes, restaurants and several other shops.
It is located right next to the bustling waterfront of the old harbour of Chania, and also at the square intersect the streets and alleys of Chalidon, Zampeliou, Karaoli Dimitriou - Sifaka and Kanevaro. (Don't miss the chance to walk along these streets.)
Chalidon street is the shortest route that takes you from the modern city, and brings you directly to the centre of Chania old town, which is the Sintrivani square.
At the central point of the square, there is a fountain, a reminiscent of a Venetian fountain, decorated with lion heads, that existed at the same place during the Venetian rule. That fountain is preserved in the yard of the Archaeological Museum of Chania.
During the Ottoman rule that Venetian fountain was
replaced by a Turkish fountain.
The square of Sintrivani is created by the Venetians, just outside the western entrance gate that was leading through the Venetian Corso (the current Kanevaro street), inside the walled town of Chania, located on the hill of Kasteli.
Today's the entrance gate at the beginning of Kanevaro street
is not preserved. What's preserved is a large rectangular Venetian
tower that guarded the gate from its south side.
When the town expanded and the wall was no longer needed, the tower converted into a three-storey house. A decorative Venetian chime and inscription are still distinguished on the facade of the building.
Much later, in the early 20th century, the building will be affected by the neoclassical architecture influences of the time, and it gets its final shape seeing today.
During the Ottoman rule, the square used to be frequented by the Christians of the town, while the Muslims Turks used to frequent the square of Splantzia.
During the semi-autonomous "Cretan State"-period, while Crete was under the patronage of the Great Powers, and in the subsequent years, the square of Santrivani continued to be the center of life in Chania.
It was the central square of the city of Chania, which still was the capital of Crete at that time.
It was the secular haunt of the aristocrats, the scholars, the artists and the politicians, who used to frequent the cafes and clubs of the square to discuss all current political and other developments of Crete, of Greece, or international.