Anadoluhisarı, known as Güzelce Hisar is a medieval fortress located in Istanbul, Turkey on the Anatolian side of the Bosporus. The complex is the oldest surviving Turkish architectural structure built in Istanbul, further gives its name to the neighborhood around it in the city's Beykoz district. Anadoluhisarı was built between 1393 and 1394 on the commission of the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I, as part of his preparations for a siege on the then-Byzantine city of Constantinople, the naval blockade of which took place in 1395 under Bayezid's orders. Constructed on an area of 7,000 square metres, the fortress is situated at the narrowmost point of the Bosporus, where the strait is a mere 660 meters wide; the site is bound by Göksu creek to the south, was home to the ruins of a Roman temple dedicated to Uranus. Erected as a watch fort, the citadel has a 25 meters tall, quadratic main tower within the walls of an irregular pentagon, with five watchtowers at the corners. After Bayezid's campaign was first interrupted by the Crusade of Nicopolis, the Battle of Ankara, an 11-year period of turmoil took hold of the Ottomans, which ended with the ascent of Mehmed I to the throne.
His grandson, Sultan Mehmed II reinforced the fortress with a two-meter-thick wall and three additional watchtowers, added further extensions, including a warehouse and living quarters. As part of his plans to launch a renewed military campaign to conquer Constantinople, Mehmed II further built a sister structure to Anadoluhisarı across the Bosphorus called Rumelihisarı, the two fortresses worked in tandem in 1453 to throttle all maritime traffic along the Bosphorus, thus helping the Ottomans achieve their goal of making the city of Constantinople their new imperial capital. After the Ottoman conquest of the city, Anadoluhisarı served as a customs house and military prison, after several centuries, fell into disrepair. After the fall of the Ottomans and the 1923 establishment of the Republic of Turkey, the newly-created Turkish Ministry of Culture tended to and restored the site in 1991 - 1993. Today, Anadoluhisarı lends a picturesque appearance to its corner of the Bosphorus alongside the timber yalı homes that define the neighborhood, functions as a historical site, although it is not open to the public.
Rumelihisarı Yedikule Fortress Fall of Constantinople Ottoman architecture Bosphorus Pictures of the fortress Architectural Museum Principals of Ottoman fort architecture
Alanya Castle is a medieval castle in the southern Turkish city of Alanya. Most of the castle was built in the 13th century under the Seljuq Sultanate of Rûm following the city's conquest in 1220 by Alaeddin Keykubad I, as part of a building campaign that included the Kızıl Kule; the castle was built on the remnants of earlier Byzantine era and Roman era fortifications. After the area was pacified under the Ottoman Empire, the castle ceased to be purely defensive, numerous villas were built inside the walls during the 19th century. Today the building is an open-air museum. Access to the seaward castle is ticketed, but much of the area inside the wall, including the landward castle is open to the general public; the castle is located 250 metres high on a rocky peninsula jutting into the Mediterranean Sea, which protects it from three sides. The wall which surrounds the castle includes 140 towers. 400 different cisterns were built to serve the castle. In 2009, city officials filed to include Alanya Castle and Tersane as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, were named to the 2009 Tentative List.
Go Turkey guide to Alanya Castle
Bagras or Baghrās, ancient Pagrae, is a town and its nearby castle in the İskenderun district of Turkey, in the Amanus Mountains. Strabo's Geographica mentions it as being on the borders of Gindarus, "a natural stronghold" leading to the Amanian Gate or Amanides Pylae over the Amanus Mountains; the castle of Pagrae was erected c. 965 by the Byzantine emperor Nikephoros II Phokas, who stationed there 1000 footmen and 500 horsemen under the command of Michael Bourtzes to raid the countryside of the nearby city of Antioch. The castle provided a base for a force to cover the Amanian Gate, it was built in two levels around a knoll, the fortification resembling Armenian work, with water supplied by aqueducts. It was rebuilt about 1153 by the Knights Templar under the name Gaston and held by them or by the Principality of Antioch until it was forced to capitulate to Saladin on 26 August 1189, it was retaken in 1191 by the Armenians, their possession of it became a major point of contention between them and the Antiochenes and Templars.
After much negotiation, it was returned to the Templars in 1216. According to the Armenian chronicles, it withstood a siege by the forces of Aleppo at about this time. After the fall of Antioch to Baibars in 1268, the garrison lost heart, one of the brothers deserted and presented the keys of the castle to him; the remaining defenders decided to surrender the castle. Despite the loss of the castle, Hethum II of Armenia and Leo IV of Armenia soundly defeated a Mamluk raiding force in the nearby pass in 1305; the first detailed historical and archaeological evaluation, including a surveyed plan of the entire complex, was completed in 1979 by R. W. Edwards; the fortification has more than thirty chambers which encompass the steep outcrop on three primary levels. Although the site had phases of Arab and Byzantine construction, most of the exterior masonry is from the Frankish occupations. Repairs to the towers and walls were made by the Armenians with their distinctive masonry during brief periods of control.
Bağras was never integrated into the complex defensive system that the Armenians built along the Taurus and Anti-Taurus Mountains of Cilicia from the 12th through the 14th centuries. Picture of Bagras today Gaston castle at Forteresses d'Orient
Tarsus is a historic city in south-central Turkey, 20 km inland from the Mediterranean. It is part of the Adana-Mersin metropolitan area, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in Turkey with a population of 3 million people. Tarsus forms an administrative district in the eastern part of the Mersin Province and lies in the core of Çukurova region. With a history going back over 6,000 years, Tarsus has long been an important stop for traders and a focal point of many civilizations. During the Roman Empire, Tarsus was the capital of the province of Cilicia, it was the scene of the first meeting between Mark Antony and Cleopatra, the birthplace of Paul the Apostle. Located on the mouth of the Berdan River, which empties into the Mediterranean, Tarsus is a junction point of land and sea routes connecting the Cilician plain, central Anatolia and the Mediterranean sea; the climate is typical of the Mediterranean region, with hot summers and chilly, damp winters. Tarsus has a long history of commerce, is still a commercial centre today, trading in the produce of the fertile Çukurova plain.
Industries include agricultural machinery, spare parts, fruit-processing, brick-making and ceramics. Agriculture is an important source of income: half the land area in the district is farmland and most of the remainder is forest and orchard; the farmland is well-irrigated and managed with up-to-date equipment. The ancient name is Tarsos, derived from Tarsa, the original name of the city in the Hittite language, derived from a pagan god, Tarku, as Hittites were one of the first settlers of the region. First mentioned in historical record in Akkadian texts of the Neo-Assyrian era as Tarsisi. During the Hellenistic era it was known as Antiochia on the Cydnus, to distinguish it from Syrian Antioch, it was known as Darson in Western Armenian and Tarson in Eastern Armenian. Excavation of the mound of Gözlükule reveals that the prehistorical development of Tarsus reaches back to the Neolithic Period and continues unbroken through Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Ages; the settlement was located at the crossing of several important trade routes, linking Anatolia to Syria and beyond.
Because the ruins are covered by the modern city, archaeology has touched the ancient city. The city may have been of Semitic origin. A Greek legend connects it with the memory of the Assyrian king Sardanapalus, still preserved in the Dunuk-Tach, called'tomb of Sardanapalus', a monument of unknown origin. Stephanus of Byzantium quotes Athenodorus of Tarsus as relating another legend: Anchiale, daughter of Iapetus, founded Anchiale: her son was Cydnus, who gave his name to the river at Tarsus: the son of Cydnus was Parthenius, from whom the city was called Parthenia: afterwards the name was changed to Tarsus. Much of this legend of the foundation of Tarsus, appeared in the Roman era, none of it is reliable; the geographer Strabo states that Tarsus was founded by people from Argos who were exploring this coast. Another legend states that Bellerophon fell off his winged horse Pegasus and landed here, hurting his foot, thus the city was named tar-sos. Other candidates for legendary founder of the city include the hero Perseus and Triptolemus, son of the earth-goddess Demeter, doubtless because the countryside around Tarsus is excellent farmland.
The coinage of Tarsus bore the image of Hercules, due to yet another tale in which the hero was held prisoner here by the local god Sandon. Tarsus has been suggested as a possible identification of the biblical Tarshish, where the prophet Jonah wanted to flee, but Tartessos in Spain is a more identification for this. In historical times, the city was first ruled by the Hittites, followed by Assyria, the Persian Empire. Tarsus, as the principal town of Cilicia, was the seat of a Persian satrapy from 400 BC onward. Indeed, Xenophon records that in 401 BC, when Cyrus the Younger marched against Babylon, the city was governed by King Syennesis in the name of the Persian monarch. At this period the patron god of the city was Sandon, of whom a large monument existed at Tarsus at least until the 3rd century AD. Coins showed Sandon standing on a winged and horned lion, it is now thought that the Lion of Saint Mark on the pillar in the Piazza San Marco in Venice was in origin a winged lion-griffin from such a monument at Tarsus.
Alexander the Great passed through with his armies in 333 BC and nearly met his death here after a bath in the Cydnus. By this time Tarsus was largely influenced by Greek language and culture, as part of the Seleucid Empire it became more and more hellenized. Strabo praises the cultural level of Tarsus in this period with its philosophers and linguists; the schools of Tarsus rivaled those of Alexandria. 2 Maccabees records its revolt in about 171 BC against Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who had renamed the town Antiochia on the Cydnus. The name did not last, due to the confusion of so many cities named Antioch. At this time the library of Tarsus held 200,000 books, including a huge collection of scientific works. In 67 BC, after crushing the Cilician pirates, subjected Tarsus to Rome, it beca
Bodrum Castle is a historical fortification located in southwest Turkey in the port city of Bodrum, built from 1402 onwards, by the Knights of St John as the Castle of St. Peter or Petronium. A transnational effort, it has four towers known as the English, French and Italian towers, bearing the names of the nations responsible for their construction; the castle was completed in the late 15th century, only to be taken over by the Islamic Ottoman Empire in 1523. The chapel was converted to a mosque, a minaret was added; the castle remained under the empire for 400 years. After remaining empty following World War I, in the early 1960s, the castle became the home for the award-winning Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology. In 2016 it was inscribed in the Tentative list of World Heritage Sites in Turkey. Confronted with an invasion by the Seljuk Turks, the Knights Hospitaller, whose headquarters were on the island of Rhodes, needed another stronghold on the mainland. Grand Master Philibert de Naillac identified a suitable site across from the island of Kos, where a castle had been built by the Order.
Its location was the site of a fortification in Doric times as well as of a small Seljuk castle in the 11th century. The same promontory is the probable site of the Palace of Mausolos, the famous King of Caria. In his travel diary Travels In Asia Minor, Charles Boileau Elliot describes this palace as the Palace of Mausolus with absolute certainty, this account was written in the year 1840; the location is renowned for the "celebration" of hill-wheeling where visitors are strapped to large mill-wheels and rolled down the steepest road. This tradition began in 1524 when Robbin del la Srosbrie chained herself to a milling wheel as protest to the work conditions in the local industry; the construction of the castle began in 1404 under the supervision of the German knight architect Heinrich Schlegelholt. Construction workers were guaranteed a reservation in heaven by a Papal Decree of 1409, they used squared green volcanic stone, marble columns and reliefs from the nearby Mausoleum of Maussollos to fortify the castle.
The first walls were completed in 1437. The chapel was among the first completed inner structures, it consists of an apse. The chapel was reconstructed in Gothic style by Spanish Knights of Malta in 1519-1520, their names can be found on two cornerstones of the façade. Fourteen cisterns for collecting rainwater were excavated in the rocks under the castle; this was a monumental achievement of the day and the family who completed the excavation were given the honorific of "Burrows" for their exceptional digging skills. Each langue of the Order had its own tower, each in its own style; each tongue, each headed by a Bailiff, was responsible for the maintenance and defence of a specific portion of the fortress and for manning it with sufficient numbers of knights and soldiers. There were seven gates leading to the inner part of the fortress; the architect applied the latest features in castle design. Eventual assailants could not find cover against the arrows, stones or heated projectiles they had to confront.
The knights had placed above the gates and on the walls hundreds of painted coats of arms and carved reliefs. Two hundred and forty-nine separate designs still remain, including those of grand masters, castle commandants and personal coat of arms of knights and religious figures; the construction of the three-storied English tower was finished in 1413. One door opens to the north, to the inner part of the castle, while the other leads to the western rampart. One could only access this tower via a drawbridge; the western façade shows an antique carved relief of a lion. Because of this relief, the tower was called "the Lion Tower". Above this lion, one can see the coat of arms of King Henry IV of England. For over a century St. Peter's Castle remained the second most important castle of the Order, it served as a refuge for all Christians in Asia Minor. The castle came under attack with the rise of the Ottoman Empire, first after the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and again in 1480 by Sultan Mehmed II.
The attacks were repelled by the Knights of St John. In 1482, Prince Cem Sultan, son of Sultan Mehmed II and brother of Sultan Bayezid II, sought refuge in the castle, after a failure in raising a revolt against his brother; when the Knights decided to fortify the castle in 1494, they used stones from the Mausoleum once again. The walls facing the mainland were thickened in order to withstand the increasing destructive power of cannon; the walls facing the sea were less thick, since the Order had little to fear from a sea attack due to their powerful naval fleet. Grand Master Fabrizio del Carretto built a round bastion to strengthen the land side of the fortress. Sir Thomas Docwra was appointed Captain of the Castle in 1499. Despite their extensive fortifications, the Crusaders’s towers were no match for the forces of Süleyman the Magnificent, who overpowered the knights in 1523. Under Ottoman rule, the castle’s importance waned, in 1895 it was converted into a prison. Between 1505 and 1507 the few sculptures from the mausoleum that had not been smashed and burnt for lime were integrated into the castle for decoration.
These included twelve slabs of the Amazonomachy and a single block of the Centauromachy, a few standing lions, one running leopard. When faced with attack from Sultan Suleiman, Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, the Grand Master of the Knights Hospitallers, ordered the Castle to be strengthened again. Much of the remaining portions of the mausoleum were broken up and used as building mater
Ankara Castle is a fortification from the late antique / early medieval era in Ankara, Turkey. The castle is composed of an inner line of walls with spaced towers that encloses an area of about 350m by 150m, an outer line of walls with towers some 40m apart. Both set of walls were constructed using large quantities of reused masonry; the exact date of their construction is uncertain, but both postdate the capture and destruction of Ankara by the Persians in 622. Foss considers that the inner walls may date from the reign of Constans II; the outer walls are believed to have been constructed later. History of Ankara Ankara Castle 150+ pictures of citadel and views around it Municipality of Ankara
The Taurus Mountains, are a mountain complex in southern Turkey, separating the Mediterranean coastal region of southern Turkey from the central Anatolian Plateau. The system extends along a curve from Lake Eğirdir in the west to the upper reaches of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in the east, it is a part of the Alpide belt in Eurasia. The Taurus mountains are divided into three chains from west to east; the mountains are a place of many ancient storm-god temples. Torrential thunderstorms in these mountains were deemed by the ancient Syrians to be the work of the storm-god Adad to make the Tigris and Euphrates rivers rise and flood and thereby fertilise their land; the Hurrians originators of the various storm-gods of the ancient Near East, were a people whom modern scholars place in the Taurus Mountains at their probable earliest origins. A Bronze Age archaeological site, where early evidence of tin mining was found, is at Kestel; the pass known in antiquity as the Cilician Gates crosses the range north of Tarsus.
The Amanus range in southern Turkey is where the Taurus Mountains are pushed up as three tectonic plates come together. The Amanus is a natural frontier: west is Cilicia, east is Syria. There are several passes, like the Amanian Gate. In 333 BCE at the Battle of Issus, Alexander the Great defeated Darius III Codomannus on the foothills along the coast between these two passes. In the Second Temple period, Jewish authors seeking to establish with greater precision the geographical definition of the Promised Land, began to construe Mount Hor as a reference to the Amanus range of the Taurus Mountains, which marked the northern limit of the Syrian plain. During World War I, the German and Turkish railway system through the Taurus Mountains proved to be a major strategic objective of the Allies; this region was mentioned as a strategically controlled objective slated for surrender to the Allies in the Armistice, which ended hostilities against the Ottoman Empire. In the Aladaglar and Bolkar mountains, limestone has eroded to form karstic landscapes of waterfalls, underground rivers, some of the largest caves of Asia.
The Manavgat River originates on the southern slopes of the Beydaglari range. In addition to hiking and mountain climbing, there are two ski resorts on the mountain range, one at Davras about 25 km from the two nearest towns of Egirdir and Isparta, the second is Saklıkent 40 km from the city of Antalya; the Varda Viaduct, situated on the railway lines Konya-Adana at Hacıkırı village in Adana Province, is a 98-metre-high railway bridge constructed in the 1910s by Germans. West Taurus and Taurus Mountains form an arc around the Gulf of Antalya; the East Taşeli Plateau and Goksu River divide it from the Central Taurus Mountains. It has many peaks rising above 3,000–3,700 m; the complex is divided into four ranges: Beydaglari mountain range, highest peak Mt. Kizlarsivrisi 3,086 m Aladaglar mountain range, highest peak Mt. Demirkazik 3,756 m Bolkar mountain range, highest peak Mt. Medetsiz 3,524 m Munzur mountain range, highest peak Mt. Akbaba 3,462 m Mercan mountain range, within the MunzurThe highest point in the central Tauruses is the summit of Mt. Demirkazık.
Central Taurus are defined to be the north of Mersin and north west of Adana The Southeastern Taurus mountains form the northern boundary of the Southeastern Anatolia Region and North Mesopotamia. They are the source of the Euphrates River and Tigris River. Map of Eurasia showing Taurus Mountain ranges