Ottoman-Venetian War Manuscript Map of the Castle of Agia Mavra, Lefkada, Greece.
Fine plan of a portion of the castle at Santa Maura, illustrating the Venetian re-fortification efforts at the beginning of the 18th century.
The plan is signed "Franco: Anto: Vecchioni."
It represents an excellent example of late-Venetian manuscript mapmaking.
Following the taking of Santa Maura by the Venetian Republic in 1684, the Venetians occupied the Fort and Island of Lefkada until 1715. The Venetians extensively modified the castle in the early 18th century.
The plan was drawn by the Venetian engineer Francesco Antonio Vecchioni. Vecchioni's role in the improvement of Santa Maura dates to 1701. As noted in Printed Empire (p.7),
. . . in August 1701, Captain General Daniele Dolfin dispatched a plan of the fortress of Prevesa by the French engineer Le Vasseur and another of Santa Maura by Francesco Antonio Vecchioni.
Castle of Agia Mavra
The original building of the castle of Agia Mavra was constructed in 1300 by the Sicilian Ioannis Orsini. According to the history, the Frankish knights who conquered the island of Lefkada in 1294, named the castle for their country of origin Agia Mavra (Sainte Maura). In the 16th century, Venetians took over the rule of the island.
In 1487, the island was taken by the Ottomans and Sultan Bagiazit ordered the construction of an aqueduct and a bridge connecting the city with the castle. This arcade shaped bridge had 360 rooms and crossed the lagoon from the coast to Kalkani. In 1500, the Venetians restored the Castle, and in 1684, a lion, the symbol of Venice, was placed above the Castle’s gate.
Siege of Santa Maura
The Siege of Santa Maura lasted from July 10, 1684, to August 6, 1684, between the Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire, and was the opening battle of the Sixth Ottoman–Venetian War.
From his base at Corfu the Venetian commander-in-chief, Francesco Morosini, led a fleet of 38 galleys, 8 galleasses and several auxiliary vessels (many of them provided by the Greeks of the Ionian Islands) to besiege the Fortress of Santa Maura on the island of Lefkada (also known as Santa Maura), which was then under Ottoman rule. The besieging forces included Greek levies and volunteers from the Ionian Islands.
On August 6, 1684, commander Bekir Agha, bowing to pressure from the 500 Albanians and 200 Greeks in the fortress garrison, surrendered to the Greco-Venetian noble Angelo Delladecima.