In the 16th century, the Venetian occupiers of Crete decided to improve the fortification of strategic areas of the island and of Chania city as well. The new war techniques, the invention of gunpowder and the forthcoming Ottoman attack were reasons proving that Crete had to be refortified. Today, the remains of the walls make Chania a picturesque city, visited by thousands of tourists every summer. Chania is considered one of the most beautiful cities of Greece.
The walls of Chania were designed by the famous Veronese architect Michele Sanmicheli, who supervised the works at their beginning in 1538. The fortifications are rectangular-shaped with four heart-shaped bastions at the angles. A ditch surrounded the walls. The gates of the city walls were three: Porta Retimiotta, the central gate, Porta Sabbionara on the east and a small gate on the San Salvatore bastion. The fortifications were mostly funded by local incomes and were carried out by drudgeries of the local population.