Chania History and Places


After Kalives, at a distance of 1 km, there is a crossing. The seaside road continues to the picturesque resorts Almirida(22km) and Plaka (23.7km) while the inland road leads to the town of Vamos (25.1km) where state services, hotels and restaurants are concentrated. After the revolution of 1866, the Gate established the prefecture of Sfakia with its capital Vamos.

Its governor Savva pasha by compulsory labour the citizens built roads, ample barrack blocks, a magnificent government house (in the place of which there is now the High School), a school and a beautiful mosque although no Turks lived there.

The Greek revolutionist continuously opposed the Turkish occupation in Vamos where the General Assembly of Cretans was summoned after the events of 1896. In Vamos there is also a cenotaph and a monument of the Journalist Dimitris Lambrakis, who was born at Vamos in 1887. Here at Vamos are also held cultural events during August, lasting for many days.

After Vamos and following the old road, one can reach the major village of Vrisses (32.4km) one of the most beautiful villages with tavernas, rooms to rent, community clinic and petrol station. A specialty of this place is yoghurt.

There is also a bridge of the Greek-Roman ages called the Greek arch built by blocks of stones. Once, it was thrown down by the river but it was rebuilt with the same material plus lime. The width of the arch is 11.10m; the height from the river bed is 8.40m and the thickness of the wall 4.80m.

At the 37th km of the road a deviation is worth while for a visit to Alikampos. In 1527 the residents, under the leadership of Konti family, who enjoyed privileges granted from Byzantines, took part in the revolution of Kontaleon, but Heronymous Kornaros, destroyed the village and forbidden under death penalty the staying in the village, sending the people into exile to Cyprus.

The church of Kimissis Theotokou has a lot of frescoes painted by Ioannis Pagomenos in 1315. Going southwards, one can reach Imbros (55.6km) where the Gorge, having the same name, is set out to come to the site of Hora Sfakion. Imbros is situated on the Imbros Plateau and its residents stay there only in summer and the spend the winter at the neighboring Komitades, Hora Sfakion and Nomikiana.

The Gorge of Imbros has a length of 7 km and a width on only 2m in some points. Its heights reaches 300m. The old road could hardly been crossed the Gorge along the west side at a great height. It is said that there is somewhere a cave, where in 1867 many women and children hideout but were found by Omar pasha and were all massacred. After the Gorge, at a distance of 1km to the East, one can reach Komitades where is Saint George church, the first one painted by Ioannis Pagomenos in 1314.


Following the road southeastward, we meet Frangokastello with its endless and beautiful beach and an impressive castle built by Venetians, in 1371. Frangokastello is a historical place, the name of which is connected with the famous battle of the Christians against the Turks, under the command of Hatzimihalis Dalianis from Epirus who was killed there on May 17, 1828.

Dalianis who rejected the urge of many of his fellow fighters to withdraw his soldiers to the neighboring mountains in view of the big number (around 8.000) of the opponents, was besieged by the Turks, and after hand-to-hand fights, he was killed with his 338 men. The casualties of Turks in this battle were 1000 men.


In this place people say that there exist some sort of ‘ghosts’ which, according to tradition, are the shadows of the killed brave men of Hatzimihalis Dalianis, the drosoulites, who appear early in the mornings late in May. A possible explanations of this phenomena is that it may be a mirage.

At the end of the Gorge, Hora Sfakion is spread out to the sea, isolated in the unreachable coasts of Lybian Sea. This was the centre of the revolutioners for the liberation of the island. The residents, since the time they had been under the Venetian occupation, dealt with shipping and that made them rich. Whilst the rest of the Creatan population were under occupation, the Sfakians and those from the neighboring villages were almost free and many of them were so rich and wealthy that even aghas and pashas were jealous of them.

Hora Sfakion

Hora Sfakion is built amphitheatrically above the little port. It has two historical churches. The church of Aghion Panton and the church of Aghios Georgios decorated with frescoes. The most important product is cream cheese and Greek greyer cheese.

The houses are built in a style very close to that of the architecture of the Aegean Sea Islands. The traveler can visit by boat Loutro which is a picturesque seaside place with its arched houses. In this place there are the remains of the ‘Government House of the first revolutionary government in 1821 and also the Byzantine church of Sotiras Christos with its rare frescoes. In Loutro there are rooms to rent and small tavernas.

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