If the stones of this venerable building could only tell us their story. It was originally built as the Venetian monastery of Saint Francis with a three-nave Gothic hall church with a pillar of the basilica dating back to the year 1606.
Past history suggests that the building even existed before the Great Earthquake of the 16th century and that it was the largest building in the city at that time.
After the Ottoman conquest of the island (1645), the monastery was transformed into a mosque under the Turkish ruler Yusuf Pasha. You can now admire a fountain in the museum garden from that time (see picture gallery). In 1913, a Cretan created a film drama theater named “Idaion Antron” in the venerable halls, which afterwards served as the camp of the German Army beginning in 1941.
Since 1962, the building houses the Archaeological Museum, which exhibits a number of very remarkable discoveries from all eras of inhabited Chania. Behind a door in the garden of the museum is the workshop, where pieces that are found are brought in old and become new with a shine.