Castles of Greece


Chania, Chania, Crete

Byzantine Wall of Chania

or Acropolis of Kydonia  
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Byzantine Wall of Chania
At various loacations around the hill Kastelli close to the port of Chania in Crete
Region > Prefecture:   Greek Map
Municipality > Town:
City of Chania
• Chania
Elevation ≈ 5 m 
Time of Construction   Origin
7th century  
Castle Type   Condition
Walled City  
Rather Poor

In the city of Chania there is a well preserved Venetian fortification. But there are also remains of an inner Byzantine wall that protected the hill Kastelli above the port of Chania.


A settlement existed on the hill of Kastelli since the neolithic period. It has been identified with the ancient city of Kydonia, which flourished through the Minoan, Mycenaean, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods.

It is believed that the Byzantine wall was built in the 7th century AD on the foundations of the preexisting Hellenistic fortification. The materials that were used in the construction were stones of the old walls but also spolia from the ancient Kydonia, which at that time must have been mostly in ruins after repeated devastating earthquakes.

The Byzantine wall was protected by a moat with sea water that transformed, for several centuries, the hill to an artificial island.

Later the Venetians repaired the wall and it remained in use until the 14th century, at least. When the new Venetian walls were built in the 16th century, the city was expanded and the Byzantine fortification became obsolete.

Structure, Fortification & Buildings

Only part of the wall still stands today, as a large part has been replaced by the buildings of the old city.

The perimeter of the fortification was 820 m enclosing an area of 3.56 hectares.

The better preserved part is the side facing the port, so the best view of the fortification is from the sea.

There were four gates. The remains of two of them are still visible.


  • Website greece.terrabook.com - Βυζαντινό τείχος
  • Article by Heleni Foundoulaki in the Χανιώτικα Νέα - Ο λόφος Καστέλλι ήταν νησί
  • Μmichalis Andrikakisς, Η ΠΡΩΤΟΒΥΖΑΝΤΙΝΗ ΑΚΡΟΠΟΛΗ ΤΩΝ ΧΑΝΙΩΝ, Πρακτικά διεθνούς συνεδρίου «Η οχυρωματική αρχιτεκτονική στο Αιγαίο και ο Μεσαιωνικός οικισμός Αναβάτου Χίου»,Chios, 2008
  • Gerola, Giuseppe,1877-1938, Monumenti Veneti nell' isola di Creta /ricerche e descrizione fatte dal dottor Giuseppe Gerola per incarico del R. Istituto, V.1 Venezia :1905

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