homepage / collections / The Ottoman and modern period

The Ottoman and modern period

Two phenomena deeply marked the history of Crete under Ottoman rule (mid 17th-early 20th century). The first was mass Islamisation following the Ottoman conquest, which created a large, powerful non-Christian population group on the island (the Muslims) for the first time in eight centuries. The second was the growth of the inhabitants’ national consciousness, primarily among the Christians. At the Historical Museum of Crete, the period of Ottoman rule is thus laid out over two sections in different rooms. The first presents the early phase, with objects from secular and religious life (wall paintings, inscriptions, architectural members from Muslim religious institutions, documents and minor objects), which for the most part trace out the Muslim presence on the island.  

The second section focuses on the period of revolutionary ferment and the growth of national consciousness in the 19th century, which ended in the union of Crete with Greece in 1913. A wealth of historical material – flags, standards, weapons, documents, everyday objects, furniture, portraits, photographs – narrates the story of revolutionary activity and everyday life at the time. On a large wall-mounted touch screen, a feature exhibition on the contemporary Greek and foreign-language press offers visitors a fuller understanding of the atmosphere, the events and their reverberations in Europe.