Kantanos is a semi-mountainous village, located in the basin of the Municipality of Kantanos-Selino and is 52 kilometers from Chania. The settlement is built on the site of the homonymous ancient city (1,049 BC)
The main occupation of the inhabitants is agriculture and olive oil production. It is the area that receives the most rainfall in Crete. All of Kandanos is full of fruit and non-trees. They produce large quantities of oil, wine, chestnuts, almonds, honey, fruits, vegetables, pulses, and livestock products.
Kandanos is a martyred village. Its inhabitants heroically resisted the German conquerors during the Battle of Crete in 1941, but unfortunately, the conqueror executed all the inhabitants of the village and destroyed the entire village, leaving behind scars.
As the Nazis left, they left three inscriptions in the village, which have now been replaced by marble copies, which are located in the village square. These historical monuments are the only ones in Europe, from every place they passed as conquerors, left by the Nazis as proof of their crime. Hiking divisions of the German army burned down all the houses of the village after the merciless bombing. The inhabitants were gathered in groups and then executed. Later the German conquerors placed wooden signs-inscriptions at the entrance and exit of the village, written in German and Greek.
The inscriptions were:
- “For the brutal assassination of German paratroopers, alpinists and engineers by men, women, children, and popes together and because they dared to resist the great Reich destroyed on 3/6/41 Kantanos was destroyed in order not to be rebuilt anymore”
- “As retaliation for armed civilians, men and women were destroyed by the backsliding German soldiers.”
- “Here was Kandanos, destroyed for the atonement of the murder of 25 German soldiers.”
Kantanos consists of six districts. Wandering around the neighborhoods, the visitor will admire many Byzantine churches, some of which are the most representative Byzantine art monuments in Crete. In 1937, after the excavations in the center of the village, archaeologist Theophanidis discovered a large mosaic-shaped building with circles as well as a statue dedicated to the Roman Emperor of BC. century Septimo Severo. Each period, Byzantine, Venetian, Turkish, Second World War, has left its mark in the history of this place.