The Tombs of Venizelos are located in a historic location of Chania, next to the Venetian Temple of Prophet Elias, in the area of Froudia. The history of the site is truly remarkable. In 1897, during the last revolution, the Cretan Revolutionary Camp was established at Akrotiri. The Cretans, on February 9, 1897, raised the Greek flag at Froudia during their skirmishes with the Ottomans.
During the skirmishes, Eleftherios Venizelos tried to negotiate with the Great Powers, as he wanted Crete to be autonomous. On the same day, the Italian and Russian fleets, at the instigation of the Ottomans, bombed the site. The pole of the Greek flag was broken and fell to the ground, then one of the most glorious moments of Cretan history took place, where the revolutionary Spyros Kialedakis captured and raised the flag, making his own body pole.
Near the Tombs of Venizelos, there is the statue of “Kagiele”, which represents this important symbolic event. The bombing of the hill resulted in the destruction of the temple. The restoration of the temple was carried out by the Russians, who believed that the explosion of a cannon in the Russian flagship was the punishment of Prophet Elias for the destruction of the temple.
In the courtyard of the Temple, the nationalist Eleftherios Venizelos and his son Sofoklis Venizelos, later Prime Minister of Greece, are buried. This location was chosen by Venizelos himself, as it is near to his home in Chalepa.
Οn the tomb of Eleftherios Venizelos, his funeral words have been carved, which he himself had spoken in a speech to the Parliament in 1932:
“The deceased dear friends were a true man of great courage with confidence both for himself and for the people he was called to govern. He may have made many mistakes but never lacked the courage to never be a fatalist because he never looked down on the fate of his advanced country but put in his service all the fire that had every mental and physical power within him. ”
It is a beautiful green location, with endless views of the city of Chania and the sea. To get there, it is enough to take the road that leads from the center of Chania to the airport (Akrotiri street).