chania panoramic view venizelos graves

Venizelos Tombs is a sight that is often overlooked by travellers, and unfairly so. Apart from the historical importance of this location, the memorial of Eleftherios Venizelos offers a lookout point with a dramatic panoramic view of Chania.

Eleftherios Venizelos is one of the most prominent personas in the history of Greece. Born in the occupied Crete, the goal of his life was to free his people. He became the leader of the Greek Liberation Movement and, consequently, stood in the head of the Cretan Revolution against Turks and their Alleys in 1897.

One of the battles took place on the hills of Akrotiri, where the fighters for Cretan autonomy raised the flag of independent Greece over Chania and once it was shot down from the air, the local hero Kayales used his body as a flagpole, standing under the rain of bullets. This moment was very symbolic for the nation and contributed greatly to the fight for Greek Freedom. Visiting Venizelos Tombs, you will see the statue of Kayales capturing his heroic deed.

After the successful campaign for Greek independence, Eleftherios Venizelos became a prime minister and a politician quite progressive for his times. Because of his disagreement with the royal family, Venizelos was eventually forced to move to Paris, from where he continued to actively participate in the politics of his country. It is in France that Eleftherios Venizelos announced that he would like to be buried on that hill of Akrotiri, where the memorable battle for independence once took place, and his wish was turned into reality.

Our tip: after taking in the complexity and drama of Greek history, enjoy the promenade around the park and savour the panoramic view of Chania over a coffee or drink at one of the two excellent cafes –  Koukouvagia & Nymphes. Chania in the sunset light is the absolute best part, so make sure to arrive at the right time!

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