While legendary lords built gorgeous palaces, armed men built dazzling strongholds. A castle’s defense has traditionally relied on common sense rather than grandeur and pride. Their original use is no longer required and they are now renowned tourist attractions such as famous castles in Turkey.
Some of the relics found in Turkish castles and fortresses date back to the Byzantine and Seljuk empires. Castles are termed as “Hisar” or “kale” in Turkish, hence “Kalesi” or “Hisari” follow. These castles and posts were built strategically because of the surrounding topography.
Castles in Turkey are built in a variety of styles. Despite their differences, all castles are defensive buildings. These castles can be seen in cities and the countryside. Here is a list of all the famous castles in Turkey.
1. Alanya Castle
Architecturally stunning Alanya Castle sits atop a 250m-high peninsula overlooking the Mediterranean.
Alanya Castle has a long history. Coracesium was mentioned in the 4th century BC. Privateers desired Alanya’s well-defined narrows and harbor. But Alanya was important in Pompey the Great’s popular drive to rid the Mediterranean of pirates. The rest of the Domain period saw it under Roman and later Byzantine administration, although not as an important regional center.
The castle’s real fame came in 1221. After the Seljuk Turks seized Alanya, Sultan Alaaddin Keykubat I chose it as his winter hideaway. In the 3rd century BC, the harbor and dockyard became a Seljuk naval station. The Ruddy Tower, a local icon, was built. Alanya, which joined the Hassock kingdom in 1471, was a significant trading port with Egypt, Syria, and Cyprus. Alanya is now the Mediterranean’s safest port.
Alanya Castle can be visited year-round.
2. Simena Castle in Antalya, Turkey
Simena Castle, or Kalekoy in Turkish, stands between Kas and Antalya, the province’s capital. The castle looms over Gokkaya Bay.
Residents dwell on one side of the historic monument, while a little harbor offers daily fish harvests. Affluent verifiable regions have sophisticated residents. To the west, a series of rock-cut graves cover the castle’s slants.
The village’s medieval stone structure was an important watchtower in the region’s war against privateers. In reality, Lycian, Roman, Byzantine, and Hassock artifacts show that this shoreline has been occupied since the 4th century BC. The hamlet was created between Kas and Demre in Antalya.
However, the stronghold was built on a Lycian foundation. A seaside fort erected by the Knights of St. John Crenelated castle partitions still exists. The rock-cut theater, with 300 seats, is the best intact Lycian theater. The town surrounding the castle evokes bygone eras. The settlement’s stone homes are connected by steep pathways and staircases.
Simena Castle can be visited year-round.
3. Kayseri Castle
Kayseri Castle is in Kayseri. It was built in its form between 238 and 244 AD by the Gordian III Advertisement. A succession of cultures dominated the region from Rome to Byzantine to Seljuq to Karamanid to Ottoman. The castle has 18 towers and is located in the same city.
Many of the verified outer castles of Kayseri have been scraped away to show their provenance. Sivas, Kicikap, and Boyac doors no longer exist. From Cumhuriyet Square to Duvenonu, there are dividers and bastions. Sivas entryway and unused door connect the inside castle to the dividers and towers line on the east route from Duvenonu corner bush. The external fortification divisions curve west from the thick horoscope, according to a study.
The historic fortress of Kayseri has various buildings, including a mosque. Posts and towers with feet, vaults, and curved body dividers progressively rise towards Duvenonu and the strong horoscope. Basic dividers and enormous body offices separate Duvenonu and thick bushed entrances. Turkish age exterior castle construction and foundations are shown here. Due to external post-stay data hurdles.
The inner castle is a separate component of the castle with various resources. A Seljuk sultan, Alaeddin Keykubad, rebuilt the inner castle in 1224. Others date the construction to the Byzantine era. Since the city’s founding, army troops have stood in Kayseri in practically every era where merchants and wealthy people lived. The castle was the deciding factor.
The castle, which housed the residents of Kayseri for a time, is thought to have housed over 600 houses. During this period, the castle had various neighborhoods. The castle is 800m long and 200m wide. There are 19 indicators. The watch street runs here.
Kayseri Castle can be visited year-round.
4. Bodrum Castle
The castle of St. Diminish in Bodrum is located on Anatolia’s southwest coast. The Byzantines and Turks undoubtedly exploited this landmass as an elevated base in the early Middle Ages. The Arrange of St. John of Jerusalem built the Castle in the early 15th century and ruled it for almost 120 years until Suleiman I (Suleiman The Great) captured Rhodes in 1522.
Bodrum Castle was a Hassock army garrison and a prison in 1895. A French battleship attacked the castle on May 26, 1915. The hostages were moved inland, severely damaging the fortress. When the Italians attacked Bodrum, they stationed their officers in the castle.
After Mustafa Kemal won the Turkish War of Autonomy on July 5, 1921, the Italian military was dispersed. The castle was a military base from 1939 to 1945. Now, Bodrum Castle is home to one of the world’s most prominent underwater archaeological research centers.
In the style of the Knights, the Bodrum Castle is unique. Because the Knights of St. John’s Arrange was an international organization, each arrangement had its tower. Auxiliary towers include the French and Spanish. Hundreds of coats of arms were painted and carved on the door dividers. 239 isolated blueprints remain, including grandmasters and castle commandants. The English tower bears Lord Henry IV’s coat of arms.
It was originally a beautiful single-window divider. The Carretto and Gatineau Bastions were built in the mid-15th century, with embrasures embedded at cannon foci. On the inside of the castle are cisterns built from big parts of the common shaking that were dug to build the north canal.
Bodrum Castle can be visited year-round.
5. Rumeli Hisari in Istanbul
Rumeli Hisari, discovered on the Bosphorus’s European side, serves as a landmark. On a centuries-old Bosphorus voyage, travelers may observe the picturesque stronghold from afar.
The Footrest Realm was established in 1453, terminating the Byzantine Domain after over 1,000 years and establishing the Footrest Realm as a major force for five centuries.
Fortress on the European or Byzantine side of the Bosphorus. Boazkesen Castle was dubbed the “Throat Cutter” for its goal of severing the Bosphorus’ neck. Fatih Sultan Mehmed, often known as Mehmed the Vanquisher or just Mehmed II, established it in 1452 as a perception station and secure location for a limited number of troops.
A few distinct elements are bound inextricably to the common circumstances and developments that shaped the history of the Late Middle Ages and the significant events it shaped.
Rumeli Hisari can be visited year-round, except Mondays.
6. Mamure Castle in Mersin
Mamure Castle is 6 km south of Anamur and 216 km west of Mersin. This 23.500 square meters castle is one of the most prominent and safest castles in Turkey. The exact date of construction is unknown, however, it is commonly accepted that the Romans built the castle in the third or fourth centuries, based on 1988 excavations by the Anamur Gallery Directorate.
These excavations uncovered mosaic floor coverings from a Late Roman city (3rd-4th century A.D.) named “Ryg Monai.” It is also the Anemurium Collectible City’s external defense fortification. The Byzantine domain and campaigns later expanded and repurposed the Castle. When Anatolian Seljuk Sultan Aladdin Keykubat I consented to demolish the stronghold in 1221, he built a larger fortress on its ruins.
It became part of the Karamanid kingdom. After being imprisoned and crushed by adversaries, the Mahmut of Karaman conquered Anamur and Taseli, according to Sikari. He reconstructed the stronghold and renamed it Mamure (effluent).
The fortress was conquered during Mahmut’s reign (1300–1308), according to a 1450 engraving by King Ibrahim II of Karaman. In 1475, the Hassock Empire annexed it. Fortress Footrest was restored in the 15th, 16th, and 18th centuries and utilized as a caravanserai.
Mamure Castle is a stratigraphic marvel of medieval fortification. It has been inhabited by many civilizations including Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, Karamanids, and Ottomans. These structures were built during the reigns of various civilizations and reflect architectural elements specific to those nations.
Since each culture that governed it renovated the fortress, it has maintained its integrity. But the flood demolished the south rampart of the Castle. To address this, a rock pile groin was built. A decade later, the Directorate of Foundations renovated the castle and mosque.
Mamure Castle can be visited year-round.
7. Anavarza Castle
Anavarza Castle, also known as Anavarza Kalesi in the region, is located on a mountain near the town of Dilekkaya in the province of Ankara in Turkey.
The castle is viewable from Yilan, Toprakkale, Amuda, Tumlu, and Sis castles. From the outcrop, the Sombaz Florida Keys stream flows into the Ceyhan stream. The outcrop’s west slope is a series of cliffs.
Anazarbus, an old city, was buried beneath the west flank. The Anazarbus Fortress is the main fortification in this location. The town thrived for a century. Justinopolis became Justinianopolis. After Arab assaults in the late seventh century, the city was abandoned until the Abbasids transferred it en masse.
In 796, Harun al-Rashid, an Abbasid, reinforced the site (who conjointly engineered Haruniye Castle). The Byzantines repeatedly raided the site in the ninth century. Finally, the invasion in 855 drove the Muhammadan al-Mutawakkil to rebuild.
Anavarza Castle can be visited year-round.
8. Ankara Castle
The Turkish capital’s castle is one of the city’s oldest landmarks, dating back to the Roman, Seljuk, and Ottoman Empires. From its position atop the town, here’s a look at the structure’s history, which has become a top-rated attraction for visitors and residents.
Some believe the Hittites (an ancient dynasty that inhabited north-central Asia Minor around 1600 BC) built Ankara Castle, a UN military fortress. Due to a dearth of archaeological evidence, the fortress is often associated with the Roman, Byzantine, and Seljuk eras.
Castle towers above the town, offering a panoramic view of Ankara’s red-tiled roofs. A twenty-ton defensive wall surrounds the former settlement. The fort has a 14-16 meter (50-52.5 foot) high wall with 42 towers. Akkale, or Alitaş, dominates the southeast. One of the castle’s two gates includes an Ilkhanate inscription (southwestern Mongol Empire). The structure includes Seljuk inscriptions in the north.
The castle itself was unharmed, only the external wall. The castle’s south-facing portions still feature Roman marble blocks and pillar heads. When Galata (an Ankara domain) besieged the stronghold in the second century BC, it was renovated and restored multiple times.
Between 222 and 260 AD, the Persians invaded and nearly destroyed the fortification. Constantine the Great increased the city’s boundaries in 688. Took over in 1073, Maktul Ibrahim Pacha’s son renovated it in 1832.
Ankara Castle can be visited year-round.
9. Yoros Castle
Yoros Castle, domestically called Yoros Kalesi, lies on a hill next to the village of Anadolu Kavagi, on the Asian side of the Bosphorus strait within the province of Istanbul in Turkey.
The castle was presumably built for the first time in the late 13th century by Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos. A now-defunct castle at Rumeli Kava on the other side of the Bosphorus regulated maritime traffic. A large chain might be strung between the two places to keep hostile Black Sea ships out.
Yoros Castle can be visited year-round.
10. Boyabat Castle
Boyabat is a city and a district in Sinop Province in Turkey’s Black Sea region.
The spectacular stronghold (Boyabat castle) beneath Boyabat city has been inactive since 1300 A.D. The city is divided by the Kazdere/Gazidere watercourse. Its steep walls shave the castle’s granite. There are declivitous tunnels leading to a freshly found Roman subterranean city. The tunnels may have carried water and protected the siege.
The castle overlooks the Gokirmak depression. This dip runs parallel to the Black Sea coast. The natural east-west road along the Yesirmak (river) valley.
Its early history includes the Kaskians, Hittites, Paphlagonians, Persians, and Lydians. The year before, it was a Roman-Pontus frontier stronghold. Boyabat was part of the Ottoman Empire’s Kastamonu area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Boyabat Castle can be visited year-round.
11. Silifke Castle
Silifke Castle, locally known as Silifke Kalesi, is located on a hill inside the city of the same name in the Turkish province of Mersin.
Its historical precursor, Seleucia, lies on the east slope of the castle outcrop. Protruding about 86 meters above sea level, it is part of the Göksu canon. This defensive construction dominates the river’s coastal road.
The Byzantines built the first fortification here between the 7th and 11th centuries to defend against the Arabs. With the help of royal officer Eustathius, Alexios I Komnenos strengthened Silifke and northern Korykos around 1100. The plan was to defend it from the Crusader Bohemund I de Guiscard.
A large post was established at Silifke and Korykos under the command of Strategus Strabo. Fort Leo II (after King Leo I) took control about 1190, and the Byzantines never returned. It was King Roman Catholic Pope who gave Silifke Castle to the Knights Hospitaller in 1210 to safeguard his realm against Seljuk invaders.
Silifke Castle can be visited year-round.
12. Istanbul City Walls
Between 413 and 477, Theodosius II of Constantinople designed the first city walls. They run for 6-7 km, from the Marmara shore to the Golden Horn. Swayer Mehmet, the conqueror, built the Yedikule Walls in 1457-1458. Sixteen gates pierce the walls.
The walls are made up of three layers; inner, outer, and trench. The inside walls are 3-4 m thick and 13 m high. The external walls are 2 meters thick and 10 meters high. A ditch precedes the outer walls. The UNESCO preservation program is currently renovating the Istanbul town walls area unit.
Istanbul City Walls can be visited year-round.
13. Bozcaada Castle
The island’s big, gorgeous castle is striking when approached by boat. The castle’s grandeur evokes the island’s rich past. The island’s location at the mouth of the Dardanelles and proximity to the earth has made it a frequent target for attacks. All the cultures that lived here felt safe behind this massive castle.
No longer serving its original purpose, it awaits interested visitors’ return. Many changes have occurred since the soldiers were stationed at the town walls to watch for pirate ships. Daily the wind from the northeast, the birds soaring above, and the wind has been consistent.
Bozcaada Castle is a well-preserved Turkish castle. Unbeknownst to everybody, the former Tenedos UN agency engineered it. The current shape of the castle goes back to the period of Mehmet the Conqueror when it was built on the ruins of a Phoenician, Genoese, and Venetian fortification (1455). During Koprulu Mehmet Pasa, it was extensively repaired after the Venetian and Ottoman wars (1657). Finally, Mahmut II rebuilt it almost entirely, preserving its beauty (1815).
The castle, on the island’s northeastern extremity, is surrounded by a ditch. Previously, a suspension bridge led to the castle. The entryway now has a fixed bridge. And there is no one inside the castle save for the two mosques. Instead, the inner castle has a room dedicated to displaying amphorae found on the island. The castle also displays many tombstones and historical artifacts found on the island.
Bozcaada Castle can be visited year-round.
14. Harput Castle
Harput is an ancient Armenian city near Elazig in eastern Turkey. The Urartus erected the majestic Harput Castle about 2,000 years ago as a defensive structure, but Harput’s history dates back to 2000 B.C. It has a cache of artifacts found in the space, churches, and mosques.
The Urartu Kingdom built the castle in the 7th century B.C. In the sixth century B.C. Between the 4th and 11th centuries B.C., Armenians, Romans, Sassanids, Abbasids, and Japanese Romans ruled the castle. He was king in 1085, Artukogullari in 1112, and Seljuks in 1234.
Artuqid Bey Belek Gazi and Seljuk Bey Alaeddin Keykubad centered on the stronghold. It changed hands again in 1366 due to the Dulkadiroullar-Akkoyunlu dispute. In 1465, Akkoyunlu’s king, Hasan Bahadir Han, confiscated the fortress to numb the administration. In 1515, the Turkish Empire captured Harput and its defensive walls under Yavuz king Selim.
Harput Castle can be visited year-round.
15. Koz Castle
Koz Castle (Kursat Castle) is a castle in Hatay Province, Turkey. A little hill at the mouth of Kuseyri Creek. Antakya’s princedom built it entirely of blocks. Due to the loss of the northern wing’s gate, the northern wing has been leveled except for a few old barns. Several of the castle’s bastions still exist.
Kursat Castle was taken by Fulk, King of Israel’s capital, in 1133. With the Latin Patriarch of Antakya, Aimery of Limoges, came ownership of the citadel, renaming it “Castrum Patriarchae”. In 1180, Aimery sentenced the patrician of Antakya Bohemond III to death on the orders of Pope tzar. Enraged at the summons, Bohemond III imprisoned Cursat until King Baldwin IV of Israel intervened.
In 1188, Aimery halted Saladin’s men from attacking Cursat by offering them a quantity of money. It was in 1225 when the Latin Patriarch of Antakya Rainier returned to Italy, assuming the mark of Kursat Castle, which still held the paternal treasury. To restore and enhance Kursat’s defenses, Pope Innocent IV decreed that all church earnings from Antakya and Cyprus be used for three years.
In 1268, when Kursat was surrounded by Muslim-controlled territory after the loss of Antakya, the castle resisted a military siege led by Baibars. Sir William, a knight, was the patriarch’s castellan. The UN agency strove to keep good relations with nearby Muslim emirs Soghr and Bagras. Because William shared his wealth with his Muslim neighbors, Baibars agreed not to attack the fortress. Captured in a Mamluk ambush on April 13, 1275, and imprisoned in Damascus On November 14, 1275, the castle was surrounded and abandoned.
Koz Castle can be visited year-round.
In the Beykoz district of Istanbul, on the Asian side of the Bosphorus Strait, lies Anadoluhisar Castle. Anadoluhisar is an Indo-European defense structure (-Hisar) (Anadolu-). To prepare for an attack on the then-Byzantine town of the metropolitan center, Ottoman Grand Turk Bayezid I ordered the stronghold built in 1393-1394.
However, the Ottomans needed to handle numerous crises inside their kingdoms, preventing Bayezid from besieging. Regardless, it was built at the Göksu stream’s mouth, at the Bosphorus’ narrowest point.
It was built by Great Turk Mehmed II in the mid-15th century, and it included a bailey, storehouse, and residences. Mehmed II also built a companion structure to Anadoluhisar across the Bosphorus called Castle in 1452 to renew a military campaign to take the city center. During the Ottoman siege of Istanbul in 1453, the two fortifications worked together to prevent all sea commerce on the Bosphorus.
Anadoluhisar Castle served as a customs house and military jail after the town center surrendered in 1453 after a 53-day siege. The bailey’s walls were eventually breached and a road was built through it. The castle was refurbished in the 1990s but never reopened to the public. Anadoluhisari Castle was then open to the public. The path leading to it winds through the bailey. Sadly, the castle’s inside is typically closed, so tourists can only see it from the outside.
Anadoluhisari can be visited year-round.
17. Cesme Castle
Cesme Castle or Cesme Kalesi is located in the city’s port in the province of Ankara, Turkey. There may have been an Ottoman or Genoese fortification here in the 15th century. The present was probably certainly built about 1508, during Sultan Bayezid II’s reign. It was built in response to Venetian attacks on the region and defended the region’s crucial harbor of Cesme. The sea would have reached the castle’s western walls then.
The castle was rebuilt in 1770 after a Russian siege during the Russo-Turkish War (1768-1774). Cesme Castle has a rectangular floor plan and was built on a sloping slope. It has three baileys and three defensive walls. It features a tiny museum dedicated to world history, notably the 18th-century conflict of Cesma, fought inside the city’s harbor.
Cesme Castle can be visited year-round. The castle is accessible for a fee.
Kizkalesi Castle, or Maiden’s Castle as it is affectionately called locally, is situated on a little low island approximately 400 meters off the coast in the same-named city’s harbor in the Turkish province of Mersin.
This marine castle defended the harbor of Korykos, and their square proportions were nearly identical. There was once an old port town here called Korykos or Korycus. While it is probable that Korykos was well protected before the Arab invasions.
Around 1099, the Byzantines took Korykos. The fortifications were probably built by Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos. The circuit walls and towers of both castles originate from the early twelfth century, except for major renovations during and after the Armenian occupation in the late twelve century.
According to the emperor’s female descendent Comnena, the royal man Eustathius was deployed as an admiral to garrison Korykos. Defend the American state from Crusader Bohemund I de Guiscard. A formidable garrison was kept at Korykos by Strategus Strabo. When the Armenians captured the Byzantine fortresses at Korykos is unknown.
Kizkalesi can be visited year-round.
19. Marmaris Castle
Marmaris Castle is located in Turkey’s Mugla region. Suleyman the great rebuilt the fortress during his invasion against Rhodes.
During his 1522 invasion of Rhodes, Suleyman the Magnificent renovated and extended the castle. Suleyman the Magnificent also used the stronghold as a military base. During WWI, the French Fleet bombarded the fortress with artillery, causing substantial damage.
Until the 1970s, the castle housed associate degree students. The castle has 18 dwellings, a fountain, and an arc. A degree archeology repository since 1991 because the castle was rebuilt between 1980 and 1990.
Marmaris Castle can be visited year-round.
20. Trabzon Castle
This castle is located in northwest Turkey and dates back to the Byzantine Era when it was constructed entirely of stone. The three components of this fort are as follows:
The upper level is dubbed Yukari Hisar, Orta Hisar is the middle level, and the lower level is referred to as Asagi Hisar.
The Walls of Trabzon surround Trabzon, a town in northeastern Turkey. The defenses are known as the Trabzon Castle (Trabzon Kalesi). They were town walls instead of a castle. The walls, which span from a hill on the present city’s rear to the Black shore, were built using cut stones from previous buildings on the site.
Fortress (Yukari Hisar), center (Orta Hisar), and lower cities were separated by walls (Asagi Hisar). These settlements are separated by steep ravines created by the Zagros (Iskeleboz) and Tabakhane (Kuzgun) streams, while the lower city stretches west of Zagros (see the arrangement on the right).
Most of the fort’s walls are still standing, but the beauty has faded. One of the town’s oldest buildings. The fort’s earliest part dates from the first century AD. There are also 20th-century Christian relics.
Trabzon Castle can be visited year-round.
What are the Other Places like Castles in Turkey?
A castle is a fortified structure built by aristocratic or military forces during the Middle Ages. While students debate the concept of “castle,” many believe it refers to a lord or noble’s fortified home. These castles emerged in the 9th and 10th centuries after the Carolingian Empire fell and its land was divided among lords and princes. Due to their popularity, companies nowadays adopt castle design constructions. Here are the other places similar to famous castles in Turkey.
- The Burj Al Babas
- Maiden’s Tower
- Uchisar Castle
How Many Castles Are There in Turkey?
There are 90 castles in Turkey.
How Many Castles Are There in Istanbul?
There are 8 castles in Istanbul, namely Yoros Castle, Garipçe (Poyraz) Castle, Rumeli Feneri Castle, Sile Ocaklı Castle, Riva Castle, Rumeli Fortress, Anadolu Fortress and Aydos Fortress.
Which Is The Biggest Castle In Turkey?
Mamure Castle, located in Mersin, is one of the largest castles in Turkey that has survived to the present day, located on the Mediterranean coastline. The castle consists of three parts. It consists of the inner courtyard in the east separated by high walls, the outer castle in the west, and the inner castle built on the rocks to the south of them.
Which is the Oldest Castle in Turkey?
Diyarbakir Castle is the oldest castle in Turkey (About 9 thousand years). It was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List together with Hevsel Gardens. The walls, which are about 9 thousand years old, draw attention as the longest and widest defense wall in the world after the Great Wall of China. There are bastions, reliefs, and figures from Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Seljuk, and Ottoman in the castle.