Battle of Lepanto

World History

The Battle of Lepanto was a naval battle fought on October 7, 1571, between the Holy League, a coalition of Christian states, and the Ottoman Empire. The battle occurred in the Gulf of Patras, off the western coast of Greece, and resulted in a decisive victory for the Holy League.

Church of Visitation
The Battle as Depicted at the Church of Visitation at the Upper Church
Credit: Deror avi, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

At the time of the Battle of Lepanto, the Ottoman Empire was the dominant naval power in the Mediterranean, and the Holy League was formed to counter Ottoman expansion and protect Christian Europe. The Holy League comprised states such as Spain, Venice, and the Papal States and was led by Don John of Austria.

In the history of naval warfare Lepanto marks the last major engagement in the Western world to be fought almost entirly between rowing vessels.

In addition, the Ottoman Navy was under the command of Ali Pasha, and the two sides engaged in a fierce battle that lasted for several hours. The Holy League employed a new tactic known as the “art of the line,” which involved forming a single line of ships and using them to encircle the Ottoman fleet. This allowed them to concentrate their firepower and overwhelm the Ottoman vessels.

One of the Venetian Galleasses at Lepanto (1851 Drawing, After a 1570S Painting).

The Holy League Emerges Victorious

So the Holy League emerged victorious despite being outnumbered, with around 8,000 Ottoman soldiers and sailors killed and 117 ships captured or sunk. They suffered fewer casualties, with about 7,500 killed or wounded.

The Field of Blood (Moastery of Onophorius)
The Field of Blood (Monastery of Onophorius)
Akeldama – Gate of the Monastery – Akeldama is the Aramaic name for a place in Jerusalem associated with Judas Iscariot, one of the followers of Jesus.
Credit: Avi Nahmias, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons

So the Battle of Lepanto was a significant turning point in the conflict between Christian Europe and the Ottoman Empire, and it marked the end of Ottoman naval dominance in the Mediterranean. It also had a profound cultural impact, with the battle being celebrated in art, literature, and music and becoming a symbol of Christian resistance against the Ottoman Empire.

The victory of the Holy League is of great importance in the history of Europe and of the Ottoman Empire, marking the turning point of Ottoman military expansion into the Mediterranean. Pope Pius V attributed the victory to the Virgin Mary.

In summary, the Battle of Lepanto is remembered as one of the most important naval battles in history, and it remains a source of pride and inspiration for the people of the Mediterranean region.


Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history.

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Bible Lands Museum


Nachalat Shiva Street

Nachalat Shiva Street is one of Jerusalem's most charming and historic streets. A popular destination for visitors to explore!

Netzer Acharon: Zippora (Feige) Jacobowitz

This post is about Zippora (Feige) Jacobowitz and her life story that was what we call Netzer Acharon. But what is Last Remnant (Netzer Acharon)? ...

Nabataean Incense Route

The Nabataean Incense Route was a network of trade routes connecting the Arabian Peninsula to the Mediterranean world.

Tax Museum in Jerusalem

In this post, we delve into the exhibits and highlights of the Tax Museum, uncovering the often-overlooked history and impact of taxation.

The Decline Nabataean Kingdom

This post is meant describe the decline Nabataean Kingdom. So around the 7th-8th century CE, a glorious episode of the Land of Israel had come ...

Al-Qastal Battle in 1948

Al-Qastal was a village near Jerusalem, used as a military base by the Palestinians. The village was captured by the Palmach in the 1948 War

Knights Templar

The Knights Templars were a Catholic military order founded in 1119, headquartered on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem through 1128. The order was active until ...

Jerusalem Botanical Gardens

The Jerusalem Botanical Gardens is a pristine arboretum. The Gardens is the place if you want to learn about the Flora of Israel!

Ein Kerem Neighborhood

Ein Kerem is a real gem! Featuring a variety of destinations for visitors to enjoy. For Christians, the most famous the Church of Visitation

Yad LaKashish

Yad LaKashish provides employment and support the elderly and disadvantaged, helping them to maintain their independence and dignity.

Need help?