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).
In 1985 the museums 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 military museum.
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 tells you about the revolution of 1821, the Macedonian conflict, The Balkan War, World War One and World War Two. Outside are bigger object like a plane and helicopter and 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 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 in the weekends. You can find the museum by this address; Eparchiaki Odos Perivolias-Chromanastiriou, Chromonastiri, Crete 741 00, Greece.