1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Parga

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PARGA, a seaport of Albania, European Turkey, in the vilayet of Iannina, and on the Ionian Sea. Pop. (1905), about 5000, of whom the majority are Greeks. Parga has a rock-built citadel and a harbour formed by a mole which the Venetians constructed in 1572. It exports citrons, wool, oak, bark and skins. Originally occupying the site of the ancient Toryne (or Palaeo-Parga), a short distance to the west, Parga was removed to its present position after the Turkish invasion in the 15th century. Under Venetian protection, freely accepted in 1401, the inhabitants maintained their municipal independence and commercial prosperity down to the destruction of the Venetian republic in 1797, though on two occasions, in 1500 and 1560, their city was burned by the Turks. The attempts of Ali Pasha of Iannina to make himself master of the place were thwarted partly by the presence of a French garrison in the citadel and partly by the heroic attitude of the Pargiotes themselves, who were anxious to have their city incorporated with the Ionian Republic. To secure their purpose they in 1814 expelled the French garrison and accepted British protection; but the British Government in 1815 determined to go back to the convention of 1800 by which Parga was to be surrendered to Turkey, though no mosque was to be built or Mussulman to settle within its territory. Rather than subject themselves to the tyranny of Ali Pasha, the Pargiotes decided to forsake their country; and accordingly in 1819, having previously exhumed and burned the remains of their ancestors, they migrated to the Ionian Islands. The Turkish government was constrained to pay them £142,425 by way of compensation.