Greece travel

The Venetian and Ottoman Rule in Greece

After the sacking of Constantinople in 1204, the Venetians sailed into Greece, conquering all of the Aegean and the Ionian sea and much of the mainland. A duchy was founded in the Aegean, with Naxos as its base.

This was a time of diversity, since many islands suffered greatly from constant pirate attacks and high taxes to be paid to the Venetians, while others flourished through trade with the Venetians and their allies.

The tension between the Venetians and Ottomans grew stronger, though, and the constant crusades had created a climate of hostility between the two powers. Greece's geographical position was attractive as a gate between East and West, and the Ottomans prepared for an invasion of Greece.

The sultan of the Ottoman Empire Fatih Sultan Mehmet conquered Constantinople in 1453 and a few years later Greece was under Ottoman rule. The Turks drove out the Venetians and with the exception of Venetian rule of the Peloponnese 1699-1718 Greece was Turkish until the War of Independence which started in 1821.

The Turkish rule was a rule of fear and tyranny, but there was some aspects of society where the Greeks were left alone. The orthodox church was allowed to exist, and certain prominent Greeks held important positions. To this day, this is a subject of great controversy, since the church traditionally is considered to have preserved the Greek language and culture, while others claim that the church actually benefited from the Ottoman rule by making special agreements in order to keep the people calm.

Greek history