Chania Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum of Chania

One of the many beautiful medieval monuments of the city of Chania, the imposing church of the monastery of the monks of Frangiskan (16th century), houses the Archaeological Museum of Chania.

During the Ottoman era, the monastery was transformed into a Muslim place of worship for Yussuf Pasha, while in modern times it has variously served as a cinema and an army warehouse. It became a museum only in 1963.

Archaeological Museum

The exhibition is divided into two large units: the eastern wing displays finds from the Neolithic to Late Minoan period, Head of Clay Figurine from a female burial in a family rock-cut tomb in the city of Chania, 4th century BCand the western wing, finds from the Geometric period to Roman times.

The finds from the various eras are classified either by location, or according to kind (tomb or house objects, etc.).

Visitors should move from left to right on entering the museum. Here are exhibits found in the last 50 years which showed that the area was continuously inhabited without a break from Neolithic to Roman times.

Most remains of Neolithic settlements in the Chania prefecture have typically been found in caves, which continued to be used in Minoan times, mostly as places of worship.

There are also impressive finds from the settlement that has been excavated on Kastelli hill. This settlement which was destroyed in 1450 BC, is regarded as one of the most important in the area and studies identify it as the ancient Kydonia.

At various points around the hall, outside the display cases, are clay sarcophagi with painted decorations coming from the cemeteries that have been excavated in western Crete. Rich tomb finds (jewels and seals made of semi-precious stones and pottery) confirm the town's wealth.

Discoveries from the Minoan civilization of Chania, amongst which the clay tablets of early script, that of Linear A and Linear B, fragments of vases, as well as the clay seal, known as the "master's impression", really stand out.

Clay Tablet inscribed with signs of the Linear A script from KasteliClay Sealing from Kasteli with a representation of a Minoan city and its patron deity. Dated to the second half of the 15th century B.C.Clay Bathtub used as funerary larnax. It was found in a grave at the Koubes quarter of modern Chania and dates to 1300-1200 B.C.

Clay pyxis with a representation of a kithara player from a chamber tomb in the area of Koiliaris in Kalyves-Aptera and dates to 1300-1200 B.C.

Prominent is also the presence of the painted late Minoan clay shrines and dozens of vases, along with the compass from the late Minoan tomb of Aptera, with the beautiful portrayal of the guitar player which is also awe inspiring.

The exhibits of historical times (1milleniumBC) where the group of votive bulls from Tsiskiana, the Hellenistic and Roman statues from important archaeological sites of the prefecture and the three mosaic floors dating back to the Roman years from the city of Chania with portrayals from mythology, captivate the visitor.

Gold Disks from a female pithos burial from Pelekapina near Chania. Dated to the Geometric period (early 9th century B.C.).

Finally, equally remarkable is the collection of the Hellenistic and Roman gold jewellery taken from tombs discovered in the city of Chania or sanctuaries of the surrounding area.

Archaeological Museum of Chania
30, Halidon Street, Chania

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Telephone: +30-28210-90334

Opening Hours:
01/11 - 31/03 Tuesday-Sunday 08:30 - 15:00
01/04 - 31/10 Tuesday-Sunday 08:30 - 19:30
Mondays closed

Admission: 2 € (reduced 1 €)
Special ticketing package for the Archaeological and
the Byzantine Museum of Chania: 3 €