Kissamos is located in Greece
Location within the region
Coordinates: 35°29′N 23°39′E / 35.483°N 23.650°E / 35.483; 23.650
Administrative regionCrete
Regional unitChania
 • MayorGeorgios Mylonakis[1] (since 2019)
 • Municipality341.0 km2 (131.7 sq mi)
 • Municipal unit149.0 km2 (57.5 sq mi)
 • Municipality10,632
 • Density31/km2 (81/sq mi)
 • Municipal unit
 • Municipal unit density51/km2 (130/sq mi)
 • Community
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
734 00
Area code(s)28220
Vehicle registrationΧΝ, XB

Kissamos (Greek: Κίσσαμος) is a town and a municipality in the west of the island of Crete, Greece. It is part of the Chania regional unit and of the former Kissamos Province which covers the northwest corner of the island. The town of Kissamos is also known as Kastelli Kissamou and often known simply as Kastelli after the Venetian castle that was there. It is now a port and fishing harbour, with a regular ferry from the Peloponnese via Kythira. A town museum is located in the old Venetian governor's palace and there have been important archaeological finds in the town, including fine mosaics, dating from the Roman city of Kisamos (Κίσαμος, Latinized as Cisamus). The head town of the municipality (Δήμος Κισσάμου) is Kastelli-Kissamos itself.


Main article: Cisamus

Strabo said that ancient Cisamus was dependent on Aptera and was its naval arsenal.[3] The Peutinger Table distinguishes two port towns in Crete called Cisamus,[4] Modern Kissamos (at 35°29′38″N 23°39′25″E) is much further west than where Aptera is now placed (at 35°27′46″N 24°8′31″E). It was excluded already by Pashley in 1837 as being, of the two ancient maritime Cretan cities named Kisamos, the one associated with Aptera.[5] In the past, when the port of Aptera was thought to be present-day Kissamos, some supposed Aptera to be identical with Polyrrhenia, and Kissamos to be the port of Polyrrhenia.[6] However, Strabo and other ancient sources say that Polyrrhenia's port was at Phalasarna on the west coast.[7][8]

Ecclesiastical history

The Rotunda of Michael Archangelos in Episkopi - Kissamos
Kissamos archeological museum
Mosaic in museum

Ancient Cisamus became a Christian bishopric, a suffragan of the metropolitan see of Gortyna, the capital of the Roman province of Crete. Only two of its first-millennium bishops are named in extant contemporary documents: Theopemptus (according to 18th-century Lequien), Nicetas (according to 20th-century Janin) at the Trullan Council in 692, and Leo at the Second Council of Nicaea in 787.[9]

Orthodox bishopric

The bishopric is still a residential see of the Eastern Orthodox Church of Crete.[9]

Latin diocese

After the Venetian conquest of Crete in 1212, Kissamos became a Latin Church diocese. The names of more than 20 residential Latin bishops from then until the end of the 16th century are known, including :[10][11][12]

The Latin residential bishopric of Latin: Cisamus (Curiate Italian Cisamo) was suppressed in around 1600, and only a titular bishopric remains.[13]


Kissamos municipality

The municipality of Kissamos was formed at the 2011 local government reform by the merger of three former municipalities, which became municipal units:[14]

The municipality has an area of 341.018 km2 (131.668 sq mi) and the municipal unit has an area of 149.034 km2 (57.542 sq mi).[15] The municipal unit of Kissamos includes the Gramvousa peninsula (Chernisos Gramvousas Χερσόνησος Γραμβούσας) in the northwest and the adjacent Gramvousa islets, as well as the islet of Pontikonisi, and the villages of Sfinari, Koukounaras, Polirinia, Platanos, Lousakia, Sirikari, Kallergiania and Kalathena. It forms the extreme western part of the Chania regional unit, and of Crete. It is bordered by Platanias to the East, and by Kantanos-Selino to the south.

Former province

The province of Kissamos (Greek: Επαρχία Κισσάμου) was one of the provinces of the Chania Prefecture. Its territory corresponded with that of the current municipality of Kissamos, and the municipal units of Kolymvari and Voukolies (partly).[16] It was abolished in 2006.

Notable locals

See also


  1. ^ Municipality of Kissamos, Municipal elections – October 2023, Ministry of Interior
  2. ^ "Αποτελέσματα Απογραφής Πληθυσμού - Κατοικιών 2021, Μόνιμος Πληθυσμός κατά οικισμό" [Results of the 2021 Population - Housing Census, Permanent population by settlement] (in Greek). Hellenic Statistical Authority. 29 March 2024.
  3. ^ J.A. Cramer, A Geographical and Historical Description of Ancient Greece (1828), Vol. 3, pp. 364, 379
  4. ^ John D. Pendlebury, The Archaeology of Crete (Biblo & Tannen 1969 ISBN 978-0-81960121-6), p. 21
  5. ^ Robert Pashley, Travels in Crete (J. Murray 1837), vol. 1, pp. 49, 55
  6. ^ Edward Falkener, A Description of Some Important Theatres and Other Remains in Crete (Trübner 1854), p. 26
  7. ^ Pendlebury (1969), p. 14
  8. ^ J.A. Cramer, A Geographical and Historical Description of Ancient Greece (1828), Vol. 3, p. 364
  9. ^ a b Raymond Janin, v. Cisamus, in Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Géographie ecclésiastiques, vol. XII, Parigi 1953, coll. 844-845
  10. ^ Konrad Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, vol. 1 Archived 2019-07-09 at the Wayback Machine, pp. 185–186; vol. 2 Archived 2018-10-04 at the Wayback Machine, p. 127; vol. 3 Archived 2019-03-21 at the Wayback Machine, p. 166; vol. 5, p. 158; vol. 6, p. 166; vol. 8, pp. 205–206
  11. ^ "Diocese of Kisamos" David M. Cheney. Retrieved February 29, 2016
  12. ^ "Titular Episcopal See of Cisamus" Gabriel Chow. Retrieved February 29, 2016
  13. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 870
  14. ^ "ΦΕΚ A 87/2010, Kallikratis reform law text" (in Greek). Government Gazette.
  15. ^ "Population & housing census 2001 (incl. area and average elevation)" (PDF) (in Greek). National Statistical Service of Greece. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-21.
  16. ^ "Detailed census results 1991" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03. (39 MB) (in Greek and French)

Sources and external links