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Türkiye’s Coastal Castles: Timeless Guardians of History

Türkiye’s ancient coastal castles, from the Seljuk, Byzantine, Ottoman, and medieval eras, serve as captivating attractions for both domestic and foreign tourists.

Strategically located along the country’s coast, these castles were primarily built in positions ideal for repelling sea invaders, reflecting their historical significance and architectural prowess.

Yoros Castle

Perched on a hill overlooking the Bosporus in Istanbul, Yoros Castle hails from the Byzantium era. Its spectacular views of the waterway make it a popular destination, drawing visitors to witness both historical grandeur and natural beauty.

Location Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/JVGYtVwYAGgAkC8q9

Anatolian Fortress

Constructed by Ottoman Sultan Yildirim Beyazid, the Anatolian Fortress spans 7,000 square meters in the Anadoluhisarı neighborhood, where the Göksu stream merges with the Bosporus. This fortress stands as a testament to Ottoman military architecture.

Location Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/yNJxyUdAvnQozvnn9

Rumelian Fortress

Built by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1452 in the Sarıyer district, the Rumelian Fortress occupies the narrowest point of the Bosporus. Erected in a remarkable 90 days, it was designed to thwart northern attacks on Istanbul.

Location Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/V21eKsLX5Ugp2svb6

Hereke Castle

Located in Kocaeli, near Istanbul, Hereke Castle was constructed in 650 during the Eastern Roman Empire. It remains a notable historical site in northwest Anatolia.

Location Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/o4j94CPnViKRyiNW6

Kilitbahir Castle

Erected on the European side of the Dardanelles by Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, Kilitbahir Castle aimed to prevent European states from aiding the Byzantine Empire during Istanbul’s siege in 1452.

Location Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/9pXN3Kh2S6fBtCn86

Bodrum Castle

Construction of Bodrum Castle commenced in 1415 and concluded in 1523. Serving as a military base until 1895, it now features an underwater museum and is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.

Location Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/C4eZnFbtVT1YuA8j8

Maiden’s Castle

Built in 1199 on an islet in Mersin province, Maiden’s Castle is the best-known structure in the ancient city of Korykos. It, too, is on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.

Location Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/beVBAH15xVmbGKse9

Babakale Castle

Situated at the westernmost point of Anatolia in Çanakkale, Babakale Castle was a significant base for the Ottoman navy.

Location Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/seuMrPxxD4n18uEx6

Ginolu Castle

Ginolu Castle, believed to have been constructed between the ninth and 11th centuries in today’s Kastamonu province, played a crucial role during the Venetian and Genoese colonization of the Black Sea coast. The Ottomans later expanded and repaired the fortress.

Location Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/7EkFxAR1wSQUov266

Filyos Castle

In northern Zonguldak province, Filyos Castle is thought to have Roman origins, showcasing the ancient architectural influence in the region.

Location Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/ch86D9YBZZVYKcC17

Giresun Castle

Built by Pharnaces II of Pontus in the second century B.C., Giresun Castle was used defensively against the Ottoman Empire during Trebizond Empire invasions in the 15th century.

Location Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/JnZaN6sA1eBQtnkD6

Ayas Castle

Ayas Castle in Adana province’s Yumurtalık district dates back to the era of Alexander the Great. Originally built as an army base, it now stands as a major tourist destination.

Location Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/wnquCtw5yS398khv8

Şile Castle

Constructed by the Byzantines, Şile Castle was used to resist sea attacks and later served the Ottomans for observation purposes.

Location Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/8t8dtnecmqo3X2Vk6

Çeşme Castle

Originally built by the Genoese in the 15th century to protect maritime trade between the Çeşme district of Izmir and Chios Island, Çeşme Castle was expanded during Sultan Beyazid II’s reign and integrated into the Ottoman defenses.

Location Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/PKAoCvgjF8A4fDYt9

These castles, each with their unique history and strategic importance, offer a rich tapestry of Türkiye’s coastal heritage, inviting visitors to step back in time and explore the enduring legacy of these formidable fortresses.

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Lyn Ward

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