The jewish history of the Chania old town
Crete was one of the very first places in Greece inhabited by Jews. Their presence goes back about 2000 years.
The Jews played a very important role in the development of Christianity on Crete, laying the foundations of religion. They acted differently from period to period, depending on the liberties each conqueror granted. The last conquerors of Crete were the Germans, who destroyed the public Jewish buildings, including cemeteries and schools. Today the only surviving Jewish monument on the island is the Etz Hayim synagogue, a reminder of Jewish presence on Crete and the events of WWII.
In this tour, we will visit the once Jewish quarter to give you all the important information about the synagogue and the Jewish history of Crete as well as the non-jewish parts of the town in order for you to form a picture of the Jewish way of life throughout the different periods.
Our tour will begin at the main covered market and we will continue to the old town for about 4 hours.
We will spend about 30 minutes in the synagogue and then we will continue to see the rest monuments of the old town.
We can have as many stops as you like if you need to rest or take pictures.
Our tour will end at the old port where you will find plenty of taverns, cafes and shopping options.
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: The municipal covered market but i can also pick you up from your hotel if it's in the old town.
End location: At the old Venetian port, at Eleytherias square, close to the synagogue if you would to visit it again.
Duration: 4 hours
* If you want a pick up and drop off to your hotel, I can arrange for a private transportation. Please, inquire me for a customised tour.
My service as your private tour guide for all tour.
Estimated Local Cash Needed
20 euro - Per person.
Personal expenses for drinks and snacks.
A contribution to the Synagogue of Euro 2.
- You might want to buy local herbs, honey, olive oil, olives, knives from the knives' market or leather products from the leather market or a book from the synagogue
- Food and drinks
- Transportation to the site.
A Recent Review of this tour
Read More Reviews For This Tour
Vasiliki Z. provided a great tour of the Old Town which included a full review of the history as the city changed hands among various rulers (Venetians, Ottomans, Greeks). The tour highlighted the long history of Jewish people in Chania and Crete more generally. The tour culminated in a visit to the historic synagogue with a detailed discussion about the practices of the congregation past and present.