A historic monument
The monastery of Santa Maria della Misericordia of the Agustinians, in the Old Town of Chania, built in 1583, was one of four catholic Venetian monasteries for men, operating inside the fortified town of Chania. During the Ottoman occupation in 1645, the monastery was turned into a mansion for a Turkish overlord. In 1923 with the population exchange, the monastery was divided into 4 houses to host families of Greek refugees from Asia Minor. The passing of centuries left its marks (modifications, additions and deterioration).
In 1991 Carlos Cambelopoulos managed to own the total of the houses of the monastery and took over its renovation, financed exclusively by him, which was realised based on the first 17th century gravure of the building, as well as the archives of the Venetian archaeologist Giuseppe Gerola, who had been especially assigned by the Institute of Sciences, Letters and Arts in Venice. In 1900 he had arrived as head of a group, ordered to study, photograph and record Venetian monuments of Crete, before they were destroyed. Our information also derives from the archives of the Most Serene Republic of Venice, dating back to the 16th and the 17th century.
As a consequence of the aforementioned study, in this final renovation the Venetian and the Ottoman features of this historic building were preserved, a renovation which lasted 10 years, from 1991 to 2001.