Turkey embraces many cultures throughout its history and is one of the countries with its elegance, strategic location, and proximity to the earliest civilizations in the Middle East. Looking at travel brochures about Turkey, you can often find the illuminated coasts, beaches, and tourist centres throughout; however, the country also hosts many castles belonging to ancient empires and civilizations. Visiting these castles and fortifications is a must to appreciate the history. While the world ‘s notable kings built elaborate palaces, their armies built magnificent castles. The castles were historically used throughout history as a shield against attacking enemies, with a heavy focus on the practical rather than luxury and grandeur. If you are a history lover then I am sure you will find it interesting to read about the castles and their remarkable history.
Alanya Castle is in the middle of the city over the rocky peninsula. Locally known as Alanya Citadel, it was covered with 6.5 km length of walls, including 140 towers, that was enough to give a fantastic sight into city life during the 13th century. One of the superb place to get a panoramic view of the city. Later, in the 7th century AD, the city became even more important than ever that castles had been built as a protection against Arabian raids. That is why there are many castles and churches around Alanya. According to scripts from famous historian Heredot’s, people migrated here on about the year 1820 BC after the Trojan War. Thereafter, the city hosted various tribes including Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman civilizations. Korakesium was the oldest name given to the city. The castle was constructed on the remains of fortifications from the earlier Byzantine period and the Roman period. Under the Ottoman Empire, the castle became defensive and many villas were built inside the walls during the 19th century. Standing till now, the castle presently serves as an open-air museum, where one can easily come across the ruins of the castle. The Cleopatra Beach on the western side and the old harbor on the eastern side of the castle give another amazing view to be captured.
This unique castle was built by the Knights of Saint John in 1402. Knights constructed it with stones from ruins of the nearby Halicarnassus Mausoleum, one of the ancient world’s seven wonders. It is the most prominent landmark on Bodrum ‘s coastline that was built on an island called Zephyria, though it occupies more than 30,000 sq. Feet at its foundation, it took years to complete the construction of this castle. German architect Heinrich Schlegelholt designed its huge exterior walls in the early 15th century, which were strengthened by five towers known as the English tower, the Italian tower, the German tower, the French tower, and the Snake tower. The walls of the Bodrum castle contains 250 coats of arms and armorial bearings of many of the knights that served there. The church on the castle was converted into a mosque during the reign of Kanuni Sultan Suleyman. Between two harbors being located on a rocky peninsula, for more than a half-century the castle has been home to the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, one of the most significant museums of its kind in the world, according to UNESCO. Moreover, in 1995 the museum won the prestigious European Museum of the Year award, and it draws some 30,000 Turkish and foreign tourists annually. The Castle of Bodrum is open to the public and it houses the impressive Underwater Archeology Museum of Bodrum and also hosts many Turkish cultural festivals during the year.
With an unknown construction date, Ankara Castle was believed to be built in 1600 BC by Hittites an ancient empire that had a military garrison in Ankara. The castle is composed of the inner line of walls with closely spaced towers and the outer line of walls with towers, whereas the walls surrounding the castle extend three stories high. The inner caste is so rocky that it is very difficult to climb into the castle on these slippery rocks. Within the inner castle are cannons, various guns, ammunition, and 600 rooms. The inner castle is surrounded by a second series of walls and there is a third outer wall on the slopes of the mountain. In the past, the outer walls surrounded the entire city. It has a strategic location that keeps an eye on the Ankara ‘s overall components and has been used by states that have controlled the city throughout history as an army base, a munition shop, and a defence surveillance centre throughout the years. During a different period, many Ankara houses were built inside the castle. Children playing in the streets of the inner castle, people with shopping bags, tradesman shouting, and the neighbourhood culture never goes out of fashion. Presently, the castle depicts the different historical eras that left their mark in one way or another. The comparison between the old and the new Ankara is truly amazing, and it is a great place to watch the sunset over the great capital city.
Built by the Ottoman sultan Mehmed II (Mehmed the Conqueror) in just four months in preparation for the conquest of Constantinople, the castle is situated on the shore of the Bosporus Strait at its narrowest point. It was built in 1452 to prevent military and economic aid to the Byzantine Empire coming from the north, Black Sea. This castle consists of one small tower, three large towers, and thirteen smaller towers, and it was a brilliant work done by the architect Muslihiddin, that is the reason that they are all in very good condition. If we talk about its inner structure, from a small mosque inside only its minaret survived. Thereafter the castle suffered from big earthquakes but was always restored, whereas final restoration was done in 1953 and the was opened as a museum. Distinguished by its historical significance, its highly scenic setting overlooking the Fateh Sultan Bridge that links Europe and Asia. The site includes remains of the fortification walls with towers and gates as well as fountains and a mosque. Presently the fortress is open to the public as an open-air museum, wherein its amphitheatre many concerts and dramatic performances are hosted especially during the summer months and set within the lower part of the recently built Bosporus University Campus.
Yoros Castle is the most beautiful and the oldest castle on the top of a green hill, occupied by soldiers of the Turkish army. Part of the hill where the castle is now an inaccessible military zone. The castle was occupied before the Byzantine time by the Phoenicians and the Greeks for trading and military purposes. The Greeks called this place Hieron, which means a sacred place and then they built a temple honoring Zeus, along with a temple of Altar of Twelve Gods where the priests held the ritual practices. Yoros castle was intermittently occupied throughout the Byzantine Empire and the castle was the apple of discord between the Byzantines, Genoese, and the Ottomans. The Genoese retained control of the castle for the forty years, this is the reason why Yoros castle is also called the Genoese castle. Extensive excavation work started inside the upper castle walls, and over 80 valuable objects were found. Discoveries include coins from various ages, cannonballs in bronze and stone, and plates and other items used in soldiers’ everyday lives. The castle is now in ruin but still, most people visit for the sheer feel of history and the most amazing views across the Bosporus. The natural area around the castle is green and offers a calming feel.
Built by Paphlagonians in antiquity and reconstructed under Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman rule, this castle is in the town Boyabat in Turkey. Being located on the edge of a river, the Boyabat Castle is extremely important for the Boyabat district in which it is located. It’s a very unique way to climb up to the castle, as there are a total of 252 stairs through a rock tunnel. Further adding some adventure, most of the stairs of the castle are broken and very steep which gives excitement for those who want to climb up to the castle. The Boyabat castle has a 2,600-year history and was constructed following the natural structure of the hill. This valley is long and lies parallel with the Black Sea coast. The wall on the castle side has a window on the rock face giving away to the tunnels to a newly discovered underground city from the Roman period. The tunnel has also served for water supply and as a safe passage during the siege. The Castle adds its majestic structure to the beauty of the Boyabat district. Boyabat ‘s local character is reflected in the characteristic old houses below the castle, traditional handwoven scarves that are common among the female farmers, and wood print scarves among town ladies. Currently, the castle functions as a museum inside which reflects the ancient period. Turkey has the most impressive sites with glorious architecture which will be blown your mind. It is the best historical place where you will find eastern and western glory mixed in one place. Each castle has its mind-blowing history and highly scenic setting which can remind you of the glorious bygone times. Forum Travel- The best travel agency in Montreal always gives the best flight deals. Everyone is staying at home and bored, so we thought to share history about Turkey and the importance of historical culture. Let us know in below comments box if you guys want to know more about the history of another country, we would be happy to share our next blog on that. Stay safe!