The municipaliy of Akrotiri in Chania prefecture
Akrotiri, Satellite image
Akrotiri is on the northern side of the island, in the Sea of Crete. It is roughly circular in shape, connected to the rest of the island by a wide causeway between Chania and the town of Souda. To the south, Souda Bay is found between the peninsula and the island. Most of the peninsula is a plateau somewhat elevated from the sea. There is a string of hills along the northern coast. There are several resorts around Akrotiri, including Stavros, Kalathas and Marathi.
The tombs of Eleftherios Venizelos and his son Sophoklis are found On Akrotiri, at a site overlooking Chania. At this site, the Greek flag was raised in defiance of the Turks and the Great Powers, with the peninsula acting as a headquarters of the Cretan Revolution.
Three monasteries are found in the hills to the north. Aghia Triada dates from the 17th Century and was founded by two Venetian monks who had joined the Orthodox church, Jeremiah and Laurentio Giancarolo. These brothers renovated an older monastery endowed by the Mourtari family. The imposing buildings are visible across the plateau and from planes arriving at the airport and are set in olive and orange groves. A little way into the hills, accessible by car through a small gorge, is the Gouvernetos Monastery, 5 km north of Aghia Triada. Here the buildings appear fortress-like, with a large square building around a central courtyard, in which stands the church dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
From Gouvernetos, the path is only accessible by foot and leads to the cave of the Arkoudiotissa ("she-bear"), where a stalagmite is said to look like a bear. This cave is believed to have been used for worship since ancient times, and was dedicated to the Arkoudiotissa Panaghia (Our Lady) in Christian times. Ascetics lived in the caves in the area.
Further along the path, after a descent of 140 steps, is the Katholikon (Moni Katholikon), the third monastery, now abandoned. It is believed to date from the 5th or 6th Century, founded by St John the Hermit. It is built into the cliff, with a unique church largely carved into the rockface. This striking set of buildings is now overgrown with fig trees but retains great charm.
Chania's airport, Daskalogiannis Airport (IATA: CHQ, ICAO:LGSA), named after folk-hero Daskalogiannis, is on the central plateau and is easily reached from Chania by car, taxi or public transport.
Akrotiri forms a municipality of Chania Prefecture, with its headquarters at Pythari (or Pithari).
Division of the municipality with a population 10321 ( 2001 census)
Chorafakia (or Horafakia)
Pithari (or Pythari) Akrotiri Chania
Chania Municipalities, Satellite Image
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