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The construction of the Chania Arsenali (Venetian for “Shipyards”) began in 1497 and with gradual additions two impressive complexes were eventually formed. The first, at the eastern end of the harbor (see yesterday photo), comprised five arsenali, while the other, even further to the east, alongside today´s dock that had not been constructed at that time, comprehended seventeen adjacent arsenali. The westernmost was "The Great Arsenali".

The construction the Great Arsenali was initiated in 1585 under Intendant Alvise Grimani and was concluded in 1600. Initially, there was just a ground floor but with the addition of a first floor in 1872, during the late Ottoman period, the building entered a new era. The Great Arsenali was used for many important civil purposes such as housing the Christian Community’s School. Starting in 1892, plays are also held in the main hall. After 1923 it was used as a public hospital, whereas from 1928 to 1941 it was used as the Town Hall.

The Great Arsenali was abandoned for a time, but now, it has been restored as an impressive venue for events and exhibitions. It functions as the Mediterranean Architecture Center and hosts important Greek and international events, naturally, focussing on Architecture.

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Additional Photos by Aleksandar Dekanski (dekanski) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 321 W: 129 N: 1562] (9417)
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