Nikos

Nikos Stavroulakis is Director of Etz Hayyim Synagogue as well as Emeritus Director of the Athens Jewish Museum and Curatorial Advisor to the Jewish Museum in Salonika.

1. Koubes

Koubes (from Arabic Koubbe – dome), the tomb of Hamid Beizade and cenotaph of Gazi Moustafa, built in 1892 once marked the eastern city limits of Hania. Muslims entering and leaving Hania made special prayers on this spot. After the so-called ‘exchange of populations’ in 1923, Koubes was turned into shops and still carries the name Koubes today being used as a Souvlaki restaurant and a hairdresser’s shop. The owner of the restaurant put a historic photograph of Koubes on a wall in the seating area of the restaurant where today customers eat their souvlakia – at the exact spot where there used to be Beizade’s grave.

2. Covered market, El. Benizelou

The Market was finished in 1913 on the site where the main gate into the old city once stood and served as the original “Supermarket” of Hania. It had numerous stalls and shops for everything one needed for a complete meal. The building is cross shaped and had separate areas for meats, fish, cheeses/dairy and vegetables. Today the role of the market for supplying locals with food items has diminished with the proliferation of the modern supermarket, but the market still plays an important role in the social and political life of the city.

3. Church of St. Nicholas, Splantzia Square

If there is one building in Hania that exemplifies the multi cultural past of the city it would be St. Nicholas. The church was converted into a barracks for the Turkish Janissaries, but was also their place of daily prayer. It housed the scimitar of the Turkish dervish who was the first to enter the city, a sacred and miraculous relic to the Turks. A minaret was was added to the church, which still can be seen today.

4. Top Hannah, Theotokopoulou St.

This building at the beginning of Theotokopoulou St. was originally constructed by the Venetians, but became best know for it’s use as a munitions depot by the Ottomans, which gave it it’s current name, Top Hannah or the place of the cannons. The name went on to refer to the neighborhood in that general vicinity. The building now houses part of the restoration department for the Office for Antiquities.

5. Mosque of Hasan Pasha, Iali Gamisi, Akti Tombazi

This famous domed building may be the most photographed landmark on the harbor, after the lighthouse. With its minaret gardens and fountain completely destroyed at the turn of the last it now serves as a cultural centre, housing several exhibitions throughout the tourist season. It is also called the Mosque of the Janissaries by locals.

6. Aga Giami, Hatzimixaki Dakiani

This mosque claims the only intact minaret in the city. Unfortunately the building now houses a small underwear factory.