Kandanos is a town and former municipality in the Chania regional unit, Crete, Greece. We made a short stop here, during our latest trip to Crete in June 2017.
The view in front of us was so amazing, that I decided to make some photography here. Back then I even didn't keep the record and didn't write down the name - Kandanos. Well, here is an interesting though I just made - it would be cool to handle international relations between Latvian Kandava and Cretan Kandanos. Just because, their names are so similar.
Probably the reason we decided to spend 5 minutes at Kandanos village central parking space, was following:
The village of Kandanos in Crete
Brilliant, right? Now, a couple of months later after this trip, when writing down notes about places we discovered, it was interesting to locate this place on the map, and read what Wikipedia and other resources have to say, about out this village, turns out it has a very interesting history to tell. We arrived here from Libyan hotel in Palaiochora
Village of Kandanos
In the Greek and Roman periods, a city called Kandanos or Kandania flourished here. The spot is not certain, but most people believe that it was at the site of the modern town of Kandanos, not in Kadros, which is southern, as others assume. Remains of a very large building with a mosaic floor of the third century A.D. were found in Kandanos. The church in Tzevremiana, near Kandanos, is thought to be on the site of a bishopric church from the first Byzantine period. Ancient Kandanos might have been destroyed by the Arabs.
During the Turkish occupation, Kandanos became the home of very fierce Turkish rulers and many battles took place here to drive them out. In World War II, the people in Kandanos resisted the Germans in the battle of Floria and the town was razed to the ground “so that it is never to be built again”, as the inscription that was left says. The scene of the heroic stand was north of Kandanos. The Cretans delayed a German force for two days and the ensuing death of twenty-five Germans resulted in the destruction of Kandanos. Source: Village of Kandanos
Razing of Kandanos
The Battle of Crete began on 20 May 1941 with a large-scale airborne invasion planned to capture the island's strategic locations. Kandanos is located on the road from Chania on the north coast to Paleochora in the south, which was a candidate landing point for potential Allied reinforcements from North Africa. The village of Kandanos had been bombed during the first days of the attack and a small motorized German detachment (riding motorcycles with MG 34 machine guns on their sidecars) attempted to move through it on 23 May 1941, aiming to reach and secure Paleochora. Albeit untrained and insufficiently armed, local civilians from Kandanos, Paleochora and nearby smaller villages with the assistance of a few Selino gendarmes, spontaneously confronted and fought the German force in Floria.
On the following day, the locals gathered in larger numbers and set an ambush for the advancing German troops of the 5th Gebirgsdivision (elements of the 55 motorcycle Battalion and the 95 anti-tank Battalion), at Kandanos' gorge. Despite their strong resistance on 24 and 25 May and their limited casualties, the locals were vastly outnumbered and were thus eventually forced to retreat in the mountains, letting the Germans advance towards Paleochora. Source: Razing of Kandanos