Military Museum of Chromonastiri – Crete, Greece


Vehicles in front of the Military Museum of Chromonastiri
Vehicles in front of the Military Museum of Chromonastiri
Vehicles in front of the Military Museum of Chromonastiri
Vehicles in front of the Military Museum of Chromonastiri
Military Museum of Chromonastiri
Military Museum of Chromonastiri

On the Greek island of Crete is the small town of Chromonastiri and its Military Museum. On an altitude of 380 meters at the northern slopes of mount Vryssina is the town with its 298 inhabitants (2011). In 1940 there were 439 villagers, more than today. The municipal Chromonastiriou, together with three other villages, has a total of 391 inhabitants (2011 counting).

Relics from the First World War - Military Museum of Chromonastiri
Relics from the First World War – Military Museum of Chromonastiri
Krupp 75mm Light artillery gun
Krupp 75mm Light artillery gun
Military Museum of Chromonastiri - inner court
Military Museum of Chromonastiri – inner court

History

In 1985 the museum’s building was donated to the Chromonasterios community by the owner, mister A. Kotsambasakis but in 1997 the community granted it to the Greek Army. The original Venetian building originates from 1610 and was a summer residence of the noble family ‘Clodius’. It was restored in 2003 and was unused until 2009. It opened as a museum in 2010 after Lieutenant General Chief Frangoulis Frangos visited the site and decided to use it as a military museum.

Medals from both World Wars at the Military Museum of Chromonastiri
Medals from both World Wars at the Military Museum of Chromonastiri
Italian - German and Commonwealth weapons
Italian – German and Commonwealth weapons
Weapons from the Balkan war and the Macedonian conflict
Weapons from the Balkan war and the Macedonian conflict

The Military Museum of Chromonastiri

The museum has many items in its 8 rooms, from military uniforms to a nice weapon collection and numerous medals; it takes you through various periods in history from 1820 onwards. The museums show items and tell you about the revolution of 1821, the Macedonian conflict, The Balkan War, World War One and World War Two. Outside are bigger objects like a plane and helicopter and a handful of armed vehicles. A part of the Military Museum is dedicated to the Battle of Crete, or Unternehmen Merkur – ‘Operation Mercury’ as the Germans called it. This operation was the invasion of Crete with Fallschirmjaegers to gain a foothold in the Mediterranean Sea to support the African campaign and disrupt Allied shipping lanes.

The Battle of Crete - Military Museum of Chromonastiri
The Battle of Crete – Military Museum of Chromonastiri
Military Museum of Chromonastiri Greek uniforms
Military Museum of Chromonastiri Greek uniforms
German items from the Battle for Crete
German items from the Battle for Crete
German Fallschirmjaeger and Gebirgsjaeger - Operation Mercury
German Fallschirmjäger and Gebirgsjäger – Operation Mercury

Visit

The museum is managed by the Greek army. The soldiers are very friendly and you can ask them your questions about the items in the museum. The location of the museum is about 10 kilometers south of the town of Rethymno. Check out the opening times before you visit, they are not always open on the weekends. You can find the museum with the follwing address; Eparchiaki Odos Perivolias-Chromanastiriou, Chromonastiri, Crete 741 00, Greece.

M3 Scout Car - Military Museum of Chromonastiri
M3 Scout Car – Military Museum of Chromonastiri
M42 Chaffee light tank at the Military Museum of Chromonastiri
M24 Chaffee light tank at the Military Museum of Chromonastiri
M24 Duster self propelled Anti Aircraft gun on a M24 Chaffee tank base
M42 Duster. A self propelled Anti Aircraft gun on a M41 Walker Bulldog tank base

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