House of Eleftherios Venizelos
The House of Eleftherios Venizelos, his family home, is located in Chalepa, a suburb of wealthy citizens, diplomatic officers and consular offices. It was constructed around 1878 on a plot of approximately 2 acres, purchased by the father of Eleftherios Venizelos, Kyriakos. The two-storey house had the supplementary spaces on the ground floor and the bedrooms and reception room on the first floor. The garden was planted with various trees, vineyards, olive trees and was protected by a wooden fence.
Eleftherios Venizelos lived there from 1880 until 1910. During this period of his stay in Chania, he got married, his two children were born and this is were his wife Maria died, on 11th of November 1894.
After the rapid advance of Venizelos in the political firmament and the undertaking of his post as Prime Minister in 1910, he departed for Athens. The house of Eleftherios Venizelos was then rented to important persons (Russian officers, Loumpansky, Ploumidakis, office of Kyriakos Mitsotakis), until 1927. This is when Eleftherios Venizelos returns to Crete to personally oversee the major renovation of his family home and to welcome his second wife, Elena Venizelos. This time, Eleftherios Venizelos lived in his house until 1927.
In 1941, the house of Eleftherios Venizelos was bombarded by the Germans, who restored and used it as the headquarters and residence of the then German Governor of the Fortress in Crete. During the Occupation, the house suffered severe damages and vandalisms. A room on the ground floor, which the Germans used as an entertainment room, holds until today the murals made by the conquerors with entertaining forms.
After the liberation, the house of Eleftherios Venizelos passes to his children, until 2002, when it was purchased by the Greek government. Today, it houses the Institution of Eleftherios Venizelos and still operates as a museum, space of historical memory of Eleftherios Venizelos.
The house of Eleftherios Venizelos today
The current form of the house reflects the changes made by Eleftherios Venizelos in 1927, transferring the reception area to the ground floor and leaving the bedrooms on the first floor. Everything has his personal stamp and all the rooms have retained till today the original form that they had at the time he lived there. Furniture of the decade 1925-1935, chosen by himself and his wife Elena, who brought them from Athens and abroad, mobile decorative objects and period paintings, original photographs, personal objects of a particularly significant value adorn the interior of the house.