Getting “lost” in Chania’s incredible Venetian old town is part of the fun when visiting. Splantzia, one of the districts, is known for its quaint labyrinth of narrow streets where you can spot two remaining minarets. A 13th century church called Agia Irini is located here as well. Splantzia is a neighborhood folded away in Chania, but hardly forgotten. Find it and you will discover the historic ethnic quarter where a Turkish population once thrives and where there was once as well. Approaching Splantzia’s Rouga Square on a warm evening, away from busy strolling crowds of the harbor, enjoy all al fresco way of Greek island dining. Spaces around the corner property bloomed with flowers, deep red bougainvillea and an assortment of potted plants. Colored light hung between thin yet bushy trees creating warm intimate spaces. That well is inside the historic building where the restaurant stands today. The Well of the Turk is a fine restaurant that specializes in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern culinary delights. Our atmosphere is always pleasant, and you can expect a warm welcome by our smiling, enthusiastic staff members every time.
The Turks in Crete
The Cretan war, so called long conflict between the Ottoman Empire and the Venetian in Crete, was started in the summer of 1645 with the invasion if the Ottoman troops in the northwest coast of Chania, on the Gull of Kolympari. The City of Chania surrendered on August 22, 1645 and a year later followed abandonment of Rethymno, while the Ottoman Empire conquest was completed with the fall of Candia in 1669. With the conquest of the city a new situation began for Chania. The Ottomans were not interested in building a new city, but in matching the existing infrastructure to their own needs. They placed the commander post at the palace of the Venetian regional and all Catholic monasteries. They also built new mosques the Cathedral Venetian regional commander, on the hill of Kasteli and turned into mosques such as the Mosque Kioutsouk Hassan (Giali Tzamisi), and built fountains and baths. Finally, they built public buildings such as barracks, hospitals and other military installations and maintained the fortifications by repairing the breaches in the walls. The Turks were settled in the eastern districts, Kasteli and Splantzia, where nowadays is located the main mosque of the city Hiougar Tzamisi Mosque (Mosque of the Ruler), the ex church of St. Nicholas of the Dominicans.