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Old Town of Chania

Chania is located in northwestern Crete, is the capital of the homonymous prefecture and the second most populous city on the island, built on the ruins of ancient Kydonia. The borders of the Old Town are the mostly destroyed old Venetian wall (and bulwarks) and this has been the cradle of all the civilizations which were developed in the area. The central part of the old town is named Kasteli and has been inhabited since Neolithic times. It is located on a small hill right next to the seafront and has always been the ideal place for a settlement due to its secure position, its location next to the harbour and its proximity to the fertile valley in the south. Nowadays it is a bit more quiet than the neighbouring areas of the west part of the district. The Splantzia quarter (next to the east part of Kasteli) is also largely untouched.
 
The main square of the Old Town (next to the west end of Kasteli) is Eleftherios Venizelos Square, also known as Syntrivani (from Turkish şadırvan 'fountain'). It is the heart of the touristic activities in the area. Next to this (on the west side) lies the Topanas district, which was the Christian quarter during the Ottoman period. Its name comes from the Venetian ammunition warehouse (Turkish tophane), which was located there.
 
The Jewish quarter (Evraiki or Ovraiki) was located at the north-west of the Old Town, behind the harbour and within the borders of Topanas. The Topanas area has many narrow alleys and old buildings, some of which have been restored as hotels, restaurants, shops and bars. This makes it a popular place especially during the warm period (April–October). In the winter, it still remains a centre of activities (especially for nightlife).
 
Finally, a very distinctive area of the Old Town is the harbour itself and generally the seafront ("akti"). Akti Tompazi, Akti Kountouriotou and Akti Enoseos (marina) all feature several historical buildings and a nightlife district. The main street that combines the modern town with the old town is Halidon Str. Opposite the coast you can admire the 19th century Egyptian lighthouse in the shape of a minaret, built on the foundations of the oldest Venetian lighthouse, which is the trademark of the city.

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