Part three begins in the legendary city of Famagusta on the island of Cyprus. Once the wealthiest city on earth, Famagusta was the jewel in the Venetian crown when Ottoman armies surrounded it in 1571. Julian Davison takes us on a tour of the city's magnificent gothic cathedrals and intimidating fortress, detailing the gory battles and fabled acts of heroism that took place here during the Ottoman conquest of the city. The battle for Famagusta became famous for an act of such extraordinary cruelty, the torture and death of Venetian Commander Marc Antonio Bragadin, that it propelled Christian Europe into unified action against the Ottomans. Julian returns to Venice and its ancient ship building complex, the Arsenal, to reveal the city's secret plan for revenge; a plan that would be put to the test in one of the bloodiest maritime conflicts in history, the legendary Battle of Lepanto. Travelling across the Adriatic Sea to the town of Lepanto, today Nafpaktos in Greece, Julian and historian Roger Crowley visit the very waters where this pivotal battle is believed to have taken place and marvel at the apocalyptic scale of a clash that would become one of the most iconic Christian victories of the era. On the final leg of his journey, Julian makes his way back to Istanbul via Crete to chronicle the slow and decadent decline of the Ottoman Empire and contemplate the legacy of a struggle so deeply embedded in our culture and history that it continues to inform the world we live in today.
Episode #103 / Length: 51 minutes