Venizelos’ family tombs – Profitis Ilias

On the way to Akrotiri, at a location which offers a magnificent view, one can visit the tombs of Eleftherios and Sofoklis Venizelos.

Eleftherios Venizelos who was a Prime Minister of the Cretan State and consequently of Greece, and his second son, Sofoklis, who also served as a Prime Minister of Greece, are buried in a park, next to the church of Profitis Ilias (Prophet Elijah). This church was built in the Venetian period and it played a leading role in a particular historical event of the city of Chania, in 1897. The Revolutionary Camp of the Cretans was based on this hill, during the last Cretan revolt against the Turks. 

On February 9, after a skirmish between the Cretans and the Turks, the flagships of the Great Powers, which were moored outside the port of Chania, began to bombard the hill. The church was damaged and the Czar of Russia, wishing to placate the prophet, undertook the expenses for its repair. Here, visitors can also see a statue of the heroic Cretan soldier Spiros Kagialedakis, who held the Greek flag, using his own body instead of a flag pole during the bombardment.

The epitaph inscription on the tomb of Eleftherios Venizelos, a speech which he himself had prophetically delivered in the Parliament four years before his death, reads:

“The deceased was a real man, with great courage and confidence for himself and for the people which he was called to rule upon. He may have made numerous mistakes, yet he never lacked courage. He never was a fatalist, because he never expected that fate would allow him to see his own country advanced; however, he placed all the fire that he had within, all his mental and physical strength, at the service of his country”. 

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Additional Info

  • location Chalepa, Chania, Chania
  • type Other type
  • time period Modern Era
  • site condition/facilities Open-Well preserved
  • relevant routes & paths

    Chania city walk

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