Discover Tabakaria at Chania
The Tabakaria district, which represents an integral part of the history of the city of Chania, extends east from the coastal part of Vivilaki Street to the area of Agia Kyriaki, just a leisurely drive from Domes Noruz Chania, Autograph Collection and Domes Zeen Chania, a Luxury Collection Resort, Crete.
It is a very atmospheric neighborhood; an architectural monument of the industrial age located in the rocky part of Chania which dates back to the early 19th century, back when Egyptians ruled Crete. Used as tanneries constructed for the purposes of processing leather, its buildings were mostly erected between 1830 and 1840; the reason for their location being their proximity to Chania and the abundant groundwater, brackish water, and shallow sea, which was useful for the first stage of leather processing.
The buildings themselves were built to follow the natural inclinations of the land, with a ground floor entrance at street level and two to three floors facing the sea. Featuring stone and tiled roofs, they were arranged one next to the other with very small narrow passageways in between that led down to the sea. In the 1950s, over 80 tanneries were still in operation; today, it’s only six.
Yet, this unique architectural gem can still be visited today, giving a distinct allure to the area and providing an up-and-coming backdrop to tavernas, bars and cafes that have started popping up nearby.
After a short leisurely fifteen-minute walk from Chania’s Venetian harbor, you’ll find yourself in a markedly different place; a place that was once a hive of industrial activity with its own very individual architecture that took advantage of the terrain. Once almost desolate, it is slowly but surely coming back to life to become one of the city’s dozens of attractions. Charming fish and seafood restaurants have set up shop along the water to take advantage of the cinematic backdrop of this district with its almost otherworldly beauty visited and frequented by locals and in-the-know visitors alike.