In 1458, Athens fell peacefully to the Ottoman Turks, who granted the city certain privileges including keeping the Christian churches; except for the Parthenon, which was converted to a mosque.
During an unfortunate episode of the Great Turkish Wars, a long held conflict between the Ottomans and the Venetians, in September 1687, Venetian army leader Morosini took a direct shot at the Acropolis with cannons, causing the gaping hole visible today in the Parthenon. The Acropolis was once more the theatre of war during the Greek War of Independence, in the 19th century, causing further damage to the monuments. In the early 19th century, Lord Elgin who was ambassador to the Ottoman Empire had plundered the Parthenon sculptures hacking them from the temple and then selling them to the British Museum.
Ottoman Athens’ economic, cultural, social and commercial centre was organized around the Library of Hadrian and was a real mosaic of cultures and religions but few monuments from the period remain today. The last remaining Ottoman soldiers left the city in March 1833 and Athens was returned to Greek hands after many centuries.