Chania's Maritime Museum can't be missed: it's a two-story, rectangular, burnt red building with white trim right next to the entrance of the Venetian Fortress known as the Firca, on the west side of the Venetian Harbor's mouth. If that's not good enough, there is a giant ship's screw and a huge anchor parked outside the building's front.
The building is historically significant because on December 1, 1913, the Greek flag was raised there, signaling the unification of Crete and Greece.
Opened in 1973, its exhibits outline Greek maritime history from the Bronze Age right up to now. Greeks have always been a maritime people; even now tiny Greece's merchant marine is the 7th largest in the world.
The museum features ship models, weapons, nautical instruments, and a model of Chania during Venetian rule (1205-1669 AD). There are illustrations depicting naval battles during the Persian and Peloponnesian wars. Later conflicts are also shown, including the Byzantine fleet against the Ottoman Turks, and battles during the Greek War of Independence in the 1820's. There is also a world-class seashell collection. An ongoing project is the reconstruction of a Minoan merchant ship by members of the Ancient Shipbuilding and Technology Research Institute.