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Souda is a town and former municipality in the Chania regional unit, Crete, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Chania, of which it is a municipal unit. The municipal unit has an area of 22.007km2. It is an important ferry and naval port at the head of Souda Bay.Souda is 6.5km to the east of central Chania, although the area in between is mostly built-up. The town is a relatively new settlement, built on what used to be salt beds and marshland. The Turks knew the area as 'Tuzla', their name for salt-beds. In the 1870s, they began to build a new settlement here which grew as the port expanded. Souda Bay is one of the deepest natural harbours in the Mediterranean and is easy to defend.Now Souda is the arrival point for ferries from Piraeus. There is also a naval base located in Souda and across the bay, for NATO, with military accommodation and hospital in the town. Much of the command, particularly for US forces, is found across the bay on the Akrotiri. A grain silo overshadows the centre of town. Perhaps because of its nature as a departure point and military town, it is not popular with tourists and can appear seedy and threatening. However it is well-served with shops of all types and some renowned fish restaurants in the old centre. The Allied war cemetery, mostly of soldiers from World War II, is found in Souda on the shore. There are 1,527 graves, mostly British with 447 New Zealanders and 197 Australians. Buried in the cemetery is the archaeologist John Pendlebury. Pendlebury was the curator at Knossos for the British School in Athens and had been continuing excavations in Crete until the war. He was executed by the Germans in 1941 whilst working for British Intelligence.Plan your trip to Souda and other Greece destinations using our handy Greece tour itinerary planner.
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