The municipality of Platanias is located in the prefecture of Hania on the west end of the island of Crete. Crete is known worldwide as the cradle of the Minoan civilization, one of the most advanced, significant and oldest civilizations in the world; the region of Platanias cannot be excluded from this.

Here the marks of history count their years by the thousands. Until today, the pickaxe of the archeologist has unearthed ancient villages (Vrisses, Modi, Maleme), finds from farms, vaulted tombs, burial offerings, artifacts, temples etc. that begin from the Late Minoan Era (13th century BC) continue through the Geometrical Era (10th century BC) and go well into the Classic Era (4th century BC).

Located in the heart of the Mediterranean, on the crossroad of three continents, fertile and friendly to man, Crete has been even since ancient times the apple of discord for many. Her past has been marked by hosts of conquerors, but also by the endless struggles of Cretans for freedom.

One such brief period of occupation was during 823-961 AD, by the Arabs. Specimens of their influence in buildings and art can be found all over the prefecture of Hania, but mostly in the area of the Old City.

Archaeological foundings from Vrisses
After the reign of the Byzantium Empire, which began at 961 AD and ended at 1252 AD with the fall of Constantinople to the Venetians, Crete was introduced to a long period of occupation by the Venetians (1252-1645 AD), that left a deep mark on the island, mostly viewed on its architecture. Their defense strongholds, aqueducts, shipyards, churches and buildings can be easily distinguished and are scattered all through the area of Platanias. Most of the existing villages are also referred in Venetian sources as well as in the official written history of the region. Also scattered in the same region, a number of houses from the time of the Turkish occupation can be found. From this period-which was the longest occupation from an alien force (1645-1897 AD)-apart from evidence like buildings, architecture etc. the inflictions put upon the people by the occupation as well as the endless bloody struggle for freedom have survived in the form of narrations and legends.

Kontomari execution
In the more recent history of the island, the most conspicuous act was the participation of its people in the famous Battle of Crete against the German invader in the Second World War, in May 1941, which rightfully won global recognition. At the time of the invasion of Crete by Hitler’s forces, one of the most important phases was the capture of the airfield at Maleme and the general area surrounding it, the region of Platanias. The ferociousness of the battle and the heroic resistance of the literally unarmed inhabits of the area, wrote one of the bloodiest and most glorious pages of modern world history. Even today, almost every building displays its wounds from that battle, and many of the surviving fighters still live today with their minds and souls forever marked. The signs of the nazi savagery and destruction-which climaxed in the execution in cold blood of all the men of the village of Kontomari-are found everywhere: on the stones, in the homes and in the souls of the people.

Information was taken from here