Kissamos – Walking the Past
Walking in Kissamos you will most likely stumble across some sort of archaeological site within the city. This is very natural in this areas as most of the today’s towns where built on top of the old ones. Here are some directions to locate them easier while walking around. This list includes some fenced sites and the old walls of the castle that used to surround the town of Kasteli where it takes its name as well.
Starting at the main square of the town as we do for most of our direction guidelines, we head towards the first aid station which is located just across the street from the square at approximately 200 m. just behind the building, you will find our first archaeological site which is an ancient mansion.
This is the biggest excavation site in Kissamos. The mansion is around 2000 m2 and it included gardens, wells, cooking areas, bathrooms, and dining rooms. There were a lot of mosaics found in different rooms which indicated the use of each room. Most of them can be seen in the Museum of Kissamos.
In this location, you will see a funerary monument, a built chamber tomb. This tomb is particular in tie structure and preserved in fairly good condition. Is it one of the finest funerary architecture in the city o Kissamos and the only example of this type in western Crete. This type is seen at Gortyn, Knossos and Ierapetra. The findings in the tomb show that the cemetery continued in use during the Christian times. Here lays the west cemetery of ancient Kissamos. In the previous years, several other tombs were discovered int he surrounding area.
In this location, you can see a suburban villa, which as built at the end of the second cent. The same area after the earthquake of 365 A.D lost its domestic use. On top of the ruins, a cemetery was organised at the end of the 4 century A.D. A more detailed description can be found on the posters on site, about the rooms and use they had. Following the map after this site, you will end up in the small square of Kissamos. Here you can have a drink in one of the many cafeterias and end your walking tour by visiting the Kissamos Museum.
St. George Church
This site is located near Nopigia, rather than in Kissamos and it is not within walking distance. Nopigia is at the first crossroads you meet when you are coming from Chania to Kissamos after Kolymbari. By car from the town centre is approx. 5 min. this is a side that once could visit when coming to Kissamos or visiting Nopigia. However, we are including it here because its the last archaeological site in close proximity to Kissamos.
The site depicts housing of the early Minoan period. Following the small path that leads to the St.George church. The church is built on top of Roman baths, where some parts are visible. During a small excavation, six rooms where revealed. The ruins of the baths are dated to the second century AD.