The District of Splantzia
in Chania Old Town

Since Ottoman Turks conquested the city of Chania, they are settled on the east part of the city, in districts of Kasteli and Splanzia, while Christians are mainly concentrated on the western side of the city, in the district of Topanas.

The district of Splantzia is located southeast of the Kasteli hill and during the Ottoman rule this was the Turkish neighbourhood of the town of Chania. Central square of the district was the homonymous Splantzia square (current 1821 square), that was for the Turks what the Sintrivani square was for the Christians. 

The habits, the religious as well as other needs of the new conqueror, have resulted, many of the Venetian buildings to accept the necessary conversions under the influences of Turkish architecture. 

You can see a typical example at the square of Splantzia. 

The Venetian church of St. Nicholas, which was part of the monastery of Dominican monks (part of which is preserved on the north of the church), transformed into the city's central mosque, in honor of Sultan Ibrahim. Later, in 1919, the "Hiougar Tzamissi" which means "Mosque of the Ruler," converted into an Orthodox Church of Agios Nikolaos, but retains intense the signs of the Turkish architecture, because of the minaret standing on the corner of the church's facade. 

Unlike the church of Agios Nikolaos, the Venetian temple of St. Rocco located in the northwestern corner of the square of Splanzia, has been left unaffected.

At the square of Splanzia, there is an enclosure of railings and stairs leading underground. This is a large fountain constructed during the Ottoman rule to serve the needs of the ritual washes that were taking place in the Hiougar Tzamissi. 

Next to the fountain, a large plane tree also has its own history. Since the Greek revolution of 1821 against the Turks, date from which it took its current name the square of Splanzia, Greece was liberated after about 400 years of slavery. The Turks of Chania, fearing such an action against them, exemplary hang from the plane tree, the Bishop of Kissamos, Melchisedek Despotakis. 

Today, the coffee tables under the shady plane of the square, are ideal for a stopover from your long walks in Chania old town.

› Splantzia District