In 15th century Metsovo came under the Ottoman rule and became part of the Sanjak of Ioannina.
Starting in the mid-17th century, the residents in the region of Metsovo were relieved from the obligation to pay the regular and ad hoc taxes that were usually paid by Christian residents in other regions, on the condition that they would pay a lump sum per year. The Ottoman administration often applied such arrangements for groups of its subjects that offered a special service to the state.
The special service provided by the Metsovo residents was the guarding of the local mountain passages and the servicing of travelers. This special tax regime did not constitute any form of land, political or taxation self-government. The notion of autonomy was unknown to the Ottoman understanding of polity.
The management of lasa, described as bequests left to a community, constitutes one of the most important municipal functions already since the 18th century. The love for their birthplace and the social altruism of the Metsovites leaving abroad resulted in the amassing of significant benefactor funds in Metsovo. There was actually a special log in place as early as the beginning of the 19th century where the wills and testaments of the benefactors were recorded. The log was destroyed in 1854; it was then redrafted by the patriarchal exarchate of Metsovo and destroyed again in 1941.
The reduction of taxes left a higher surplus product of the local crop production and, regardless of the theoretical framework that governed the land ownership and political regime of the Ottoman Empire, the lands of Metsovo were gradually falling under the absolute possession, ownership and management of its residents, which corresponds to political self-governance. This development had a disproportionate cost. Every year, the corresponding taxes and other contributions had to be timely pre-paid to the Ottoman landlord of the area, otherwise the mukata’a of Metsovo could fall under the dominion of powerful neighboring Ottoman regions.
Beneficence by Metsovites is a powerful phenomenon, the dimensions of which were formed through the processes relating to the socioeconomic growth of Metsovo during the Ottoman period. It is mainly the expression of the cultural notions that governed the ruling class of Metsovo at the time. Despite the community men’s long absence from Metsovo due to their business and commercial activities, their hometown remains in their hearts as their financial and family seat. Consequently, a large part of their revenue is channeled into the local economy by themselves or their families, as charity or investment capital to be used for the conservation of the social and political superiority of their “class.
”Beneficence as a notion is directly connected with the special political regime granted by the Ottoman state to the Chora Metsovou. The demonstration of altruism, signaling and confirming their social distinction and status, provides Metsovites with the option to have social and economic control of their homeland. At first, their social solidarity is expressed as a sponsoring-church fundingactivity according to the standards of a cultural notion that derives from the medieval past of the Orthodox church.
The economic and social growth of the residents of Metsovo during the 18th century is directly reflected in their efforts to upgrade their level of education. Indicative proof of these efforts is the establishment of a school as early as in the beginning of the 18th century, the continuous care to maintain its operation and their studying abroad in European universities in order to be able to receive higher education. The result of this process is the appearance of a class of scholars, teachers and clergymen who participate actively in the intellectual trends that are being formed at the time in territories of Modern Greece. Among these scholars we find: Parthenios Katzoulis, Anastasios Metsovitis, Konstantinos of Metsovo, Tryfon of Metsovo, Demetrios Vardakas, Adam Tsapekos, Anastasios of Metsovo, Dositheos Driinoupoleos, Konstantinos Peltekis, Konstantinos Tzikas, Triantafyllos Hatzis Stergiou, Christoforos Varlamitis, the Kyriakos brothers, Konstantinos and Theofilos Tzarzoulis as well as their father Nikolaos Tzartzoulis who is considered one of the “Teachers of the Nation” by Greek historians.
Substantial information about the commercial development of Metsovo are found from the mid-17th century onwards, when we see testimonies about the presence of peddlers from Metsovo in Constantinople and Venice, a fact which indicates an early phase of their involvement in commercial trade in the Eastern Mediterranean. During the 18th century we see testimonies of the presence of Metsovite merchants in Constantinople, Bucharest and Vienna. By the end of the 18th century there is an established community of merchants in Metsovo, which, through a collaborative or overlapping trade network, spread its operations in a rather extensive geographic area.
The first decade of the 19th century signals the beginning of the most dynamic phase of commercial activity by the Metsovites. Now the geographic and economic spectrum of their activity exceeds its initial range by a bundle. The activity is recorded to reach as far as Moscow, Cairo, Malta, Livorno and Trieste.
Records show that Metsovite merchants had a permanent presence in the following cities and towns: Corfu, Serres, Filippoupoli, Odessa, Brody, Moscow, Petersburg, Sevastopol, Nizna, Thessaloniki, Chisinau, Iasi, Ismail (Bessarabia), Craiova, Focsani, Galatsi and random presence in the trade fairs and open air markets of Perlepe, Sistov, Uzungiova, Rostov, Orsova, Smyrna, Cyprus and Damascus. Naturally, the old trade strongholds of Constantinople, Bucharest and Vienna continue to present the largest concentrations of Metsovite merchants.
Another significant overseas hub of commercial activity for Metsovites was the port of Alexandria in Egypt. The latest records show that the nature of their trading has changed dramatically from the times of their traditional land transport and trade fairs of the Balkans. Although the traditional method of commerce still occupies the merchants that are based in Metsovo or Ioannina, a large number of Metsovite merchants has established trading companies and agencies in distant places where they are occupied with all types of import and export trade.
Throughout the late period of Ottoman rule (18th century-1913) the Greek and Aromanian population of the region (Northern Pindus) suffered from Albanian raiders.
Also, in one occasion in the local Greek revolt of 1854 the town was plundered by Ottoman troops and the men of Theodoros Grivas, former general of the Greek military, during their struggle for control of the town.
During the First Balkan War, Metsovo was burnt by bands.
In the last 10 days of October 1912, troops of volunteers from Crete together with about 340 soldiers of the tactical Greek Army under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Mitsas advance through Thessaly to the then Greek-Turkish border on the peaks east of Metsovo.
On October 31, 1912, the Greek troops assisted by rebel groups from Epirus and volunteers from Metsovo, having crossed the Katara-Zygos mountain ridge overnight, attack the Turkish garrison of Metsovo, which then comprised 205 soldiers and two cannons. The battle lasted until 4 p.m. when the Ottoman soldiers inside the besieged Turkish garrison raised a white flag and surrendered.