The Battle of Lepanto was fought just off Náfpaktos on October 7, 1571. An allied Christian armada commanded by John of Austria devastated an Ottoman fleet – the first European naval victory over the Turks since the death of the dreaded pirate-admiral Barbarossa. Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, lost his left arm to a cannonball during the conflict; a Spanish-erected statue honours him at the old harbour. But Western naval supremacy proved fleeting, since the Ottomans quickly replaced their ships and had already wrested Cyprus from the Venetians that same year.

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