The Lighthouse of Chania, the jewel and trademark of the city, one of the oldest in the world. The oldest in the Mediterranean. Chania experienced growth in trade and shipping during the Venetian and Ottoman periods. The open bay of the port of Chania was not suitable and safe, thus it could not support the easy movement of goods, exposed to the weather.
When the city was occupied by the Genoese, the local authorities began construction work around 1302. The port was small and shallow with many alluvium and difficult to clean. They had major basic technical problems to deal with. Around 1363-1364 the port was abandoned and the port of Heraklion started to be used. In 1551 work began for its dredging. They also built a wall with ramparts along the jetty and the port became inaccessible to ships. At the same time, they built the bastion of Agios Nikolaos. In 1595-1614 the lighthouse was founded on the natural rock by the Venetians. The port was abandoned and no repairs or maintenance were made when the city fell to the Turks in 1645. Later the value of the port and how much it can contribute to the economy of the place is recognized by Mehmet Ali, who ordered the port to be cleaned, the jetty to be repaired and the lighthouse to be built. It is said that in 1838 the work cost about 1,146,000 Groschen.
Thus, the lighthouse took the form we know today, which consists of three parts of different section. The base part is octagonal, the middle part is hexagonal and the third is circular. In 1839, it operated with the new, for the time, technology. It resembles a minaret so does the internal stone staircase, which leads to the balcony with the glass turret. The tower is made of stone carved structures of white sandstone. The thickness of the stone structure is 60 cm, at the top of each part of the tower the cross section changes and there is a cornice, decorated with embossed elements. Due to the fact that it is located near a residential area, it was not necessary to supervise its operation.
However, at the end of the 19th century, a guard house was built at the base of the lighthouse, which was demolished before 1967. It has a height of 21 meters, with a hearth height from the sea surface 26 meters and its light reaches a distance of 7 miles. In 1864, it operated with a lighting device. At the end of the Turkish occupation, the staircase on the east side was built. Large ships in the past approached the port from the outside when the weather allowed. Passengers and cargo were transported by boats to the area in front of the Yali Tsamisi. After the Union of Crete with Greece, it was added to the Greek Lighthouse Network.
A significant monument that stands majestically and welcomes locals and visitors.