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July 15, 2006

The Maritime Museum of Crete

Maritime01 There are not many museums in Hania, and so I saved visiting the Maritime Museum until my parents visited - my dad is keen on all things related to ships, and we even have a bit a naval history in the family in the shape of his dad and his dad's dad.

The Maritime Museum of Crete is at the end of the Western side of Hania's old Venetian port, in a building that used to be used as a prison during the Turkish occupation of the island. Admission is €2.50 for adults, and the exhibits are spread across two sizable floors.

They have quite an eclectic collection at times. There are naturally lots of model ships, naval uniforms, and seafaring gizmos. There are also a few bits of seemingly random naval paraphernalia - like a collection of postal stamps with a nautical theme from various different countries.


There is also a very uncomfortable looking diving helmet from the 1930s.


I'm guessing it is laid out to make the maximum use of the space - and the building has a slightly odd layout - but I did find it to be a bit of a hotchpotch of stuff. For example the first room you come to once you've entered the museum is about the Venetian occupation of the island. Then you move through to the period of the Balkans war, and the 1821 Independence struggle. Then suddenly you are catapulted back to the Byzantine era of the pre-1200s, and then even further back into the Bronze Age. It is all rather confusing and makes it a little hard to follow the narrative development of naval tradition in Greece and on Crete.



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