View of Kastoria
Early 20th century photograph
After the Ottoman conquest in 1386, many of the Christians living in Kastoria took refuge in the nearby mountains, while those who remained in the city were confined to the eastern saddle of the peninsula. The Turks settled inside the Byzantine walls to the west, while later the Jews settled between the Muslim and Christian neighborhoods to the south.
Kastoria, a 'zeamet' (feudal fief) in 1519 and a 'hass' (estate belonging to the Sultan) after 1526/28, was the seat of a deputy official and in 1875 became the headquarters of a 'kaza' (administrative district). The principal factor in the economic development of the Greek population was the processing and trading of fur, with companies founded as early as the 17th century in Constantinople and such European cities as Vienna and Odessa.
The opening of a school in 1614, the visits of missionaries (Osios Dionysios, Kosmas Aitolos), and contacts with Europe through emigrants contributed greatly to the town's intellectual growth. One indication of its former prosperity is the luxurious mansions erected between the late 17th century and the 19th century.
Kastoria was prevented from taking part in the revolution of 1822 by the presence of Ottoman troops, but in the early 20th century it became a breeding ground for fighters yearning to liberate Macedonia.