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Rainy Day in Chania: Part One

Happy November! Autumn is officially upon us and the rains are coming! That doesn’t mean you’re stuck inside. When the clouds start rolling in, head east of town to the Residence of Eleftherios Venizelos.

Eleftherios Venizelos is the most important political figure of Modern Greece. He was the first Prime Minister of Greece and responsible for the annexation of Crete. Eleftherios’ father, Kyriakos Venizelos, moved his family to the aristocratic neighborhood of Chalepa upon the completion of the house in 1880 when Eleftherios was 16. The residence is newly restored and converted into a museum overflowing with information and historical artifacts. This is not just a destination for history buffs, but for lovers of architecture, and craftsmanship. There are 18 rooms (and a gift shop!) to explore. Tours are available to take you through the main level of the residence where you will see Venizelos’s vast collection of books, paintings, hand-carved furniture, and even his still blood-stained clothing from the 1920 assassination attempt. There are also iPads loaded with maps and information to help you self-guide your way through the mansion.

Upstairs you will find: the bedroom of Eleftherios Venizelos; a room dedicated to his second wife, Elena; a guest room; and the bed Venizelos passed away on that Elena brought back from their Paris apartment. The fabrics and hand-made textiles and huge windows brighten the rooms. A collection of coins, medals, and regalia are also located on this floor.

The top floor is an interactive educational haven for children and young teens. Kids can play Guess Who with the historical figures that they encountered on the tour, play with interactive maps, and there are puzzles and crafts for younger kids.

On the grounds you will see Venizelos’s father’s beloved vineyard and a garage with the original 1929 Packard that Venizelos was in during a different assassination attempt riddled with bullet holes. There is also a mint condition Packard for comparison.

Overall, the mansion is beautifully maintained and a great experience for the whole family. You can easily spend up to two hours here until the rain passes. Admission is 4 euros. Winter Hours are Monday through Saturday 10:30-13:30.

Bonus Tip: Treat yourself to a coffee or hot chocolate at DAGKLI across the street before headed back to town.

If you’d like to go to Venizelos Residence, book a tour with us and we’ll be happy to build it into a full day excursion.

Photos by Sadie Ghiandoni

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