BYZANTINE AND POST-BYZANTINE COLLECTION OF CHANIA
The wealth of archaeological material yielded by excavations conducted over many years by the 13th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities in the county of Chania, and also by retrieval of material and donations, forms a Collection that records, with great clarity, the history of the westernmost county in Crete from Early Christian times to the period of Turkish rule. Representative examples of this Collection are displayed in the church of San Salvatore. Built on the west side of the fortress of Chania, next to the bastion of the same name, the church was the katholikon of the Franciscan monastery of San Salvatore. The cloister (chiostro) that housed the cells of the monks is still preserved on the south side of the monument. The extensive restoration of the church made it possible to identify more clearly the various building phases of the monument, unify the space, and display its austere, uncluttered architectural features to good effect. The original church, which probably dates from the 15th century, was the small domed section on the east side. In the 16th century, this was extended to the west, following the same type of a vaulted hall with strainer arches. At the end of the Venetian period (middle of the 17th century), the church was extended to the north by the addition of two rectangular rooms with an entrance on the west side. These rooms, in which a limited use of Gothic motives can be observed, were roofed by cross-vaults and communicate with the nave by means of large archways. Under the Turkish domination, the church was converted into a mosque, the original church being detached and a sanctuary apse (mihrab) created at the south-west corner of the south aisle.
Address 82 Theotokopoulou Str., 731 00 Chania
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