ALANYA CASTLE – HISTORY ON YOUR DOORSTEP

One of our favourite things to do in Alanya is drive to the Alanya Castle. Day or night, Winter or Summer it is always a breathtaking trip and we never tire of it, even after 15 years.

The last time we drove down we filmed our journey to show those who haven’t visited what the drive was like. Interestingly we have had as lot of feedback from locals, born and bred in Alanya who have also enjoyed the movie. Maybe because when you drive it yourself you need to keep you eyes on the road ahead and can’t enjoy the view!!!

So why not join us with highlights of this journey and watch our movie below.

We have another favourite thing to do when we visit the Castle in Alanya. One of our favourite places for a quiet drink, snack or meal after the drive is Centauera Boutique Hotel.  Nestled within the Castle walls and overlooking the historical Red Tower you can relax and enjoy a shaded space for a cool drink, snack or a meal.

Beautiful by day or by night and open to non residents we highly recommend this little gem. You can find out more about this enchanting place by visiting their feature page on this website, link below.

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CENTAUERA BOUTIQUE HOTEL – WE LOVE ALANYA

We Love Alanya. It is a city with immeasurable beauty and underestimated potential, promise and power. Alanya is a seaside resort in the Antalya province, on Turkey’s central Mediterranean coast (also known as the Turkish Riviera)

We Love Alanya. It is a city with immeasurable beauty and underestimated potential, promise and power.

Alanya is a seaside resort in the Antalya province, on Turkey’s central Mediterranean coast (also known as the Turkish Riviera).

Its wide beaches lined with hotels include Cleopatra Beach, where the Egyptian queen reputedly swam. Alanya Castle, a giant Seljuk-era fort turned open-air museum, stands on a rocky bluff above the beachfront, alongside red tile–roofed Ottoman villas and the octagonal Red Tower, a symbol of the city dating to 1226.

Alanya is mostly a touristic city. This industry remains one of the major economic sectors of the city. However its  population is continuously growing, as it welcomes large numbers of expats, especially retirees.

Alanya offers a very attractive retirement city with the potential for a good standard of living at a comparatively low cost. There are also a number of very attractive smaller suburb communities for those not wanting fast city life.

DONT FORGET TO GO THE EASTERN EDGE OF CLEOPATRA BEACH AND TRY THE CABLE CAR RIGHT UP TO THE CASTLE

You can access the castle via road or the Alanya Teleferik, Cable Car. Here is the Alanya Teleferik Map of the Castle Area.

Alanya Beledyesi Website - History of Alanya Castle

Alanya Beledyesi’s website gives a brief history of Alanya Castle.

FROM THEIR WEBSITE

‘Surrounded by walls with 6 km lengths and situated on 10 hectares of a peninsula, Castle of Alanya hosted Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman civilizations.

Unknown about its history of establishment and by whom to found, geographer Scylax from 4th century BC mentioned Alanya as Coracesium at first. Strabon defined Coracesium as the first apparent city if came from west to Cilicia and specified its location on a very steep rock.

Coracesium by convenience of its natural defence and its sheltered port even with a small military became a harboUr and center of the piracy in 2nd century BC, ideal for pirates and rebels. Hellenistic wall with large block stone and mortar, found in the part of the Middle Castle (Orta Kale) from Arap Evliyası to Ehmedek, remained from period of Diototos Tryhon, who was the ruler of the city in 2nd century BC.

In 65 BC, pirate dominance ended with Coracesium war, which resulted the victory of Roman Pompeius. The city in Roman time grew by expansion of walls and addition of new buildings. In this period, coins were created in the name of emperors. Samples of coins can be seen in Alanya Museum.

Alanya Castle in Byzantine time with the name of Kalonoros (the beautiful mountain) became a location point for sailors and the busiest port of the Mediterranean. Church in the castle (İçkale), Arap Evliyası, ruins of monastery at Cilvarda point and remains of round – towered wall continued from Middle Fortress (Orta Hisar) to the castle (İçkale) belong to Byzantine period.

In 1221, Kalonoros was assigned to Alaeddin Keyqubad I, Anatolian Seljuk Sultan, by Kyr Vart, a former owner of the castle and its name was changed as Alaiye. Alaeddin Keyqubad I began big construction activities, solidified old walls, built new walls and gave the golden age to Alanya. Today’s existing walls, large cisterns, shipyard, Red Tower, Cannon House, Akşebe tomb and palace complex in the castle (İçkale) are some of the works built by Alaeddin. Ehmedek, Akşebe Small Mosque, Andızlı Mosque, Seljuk and Lower Castle (Asagi Kale) Baths were constructed during Seljuk’s time.

By gaining Alanya, Anatolian Seljuk sultanate had a strong castle in coast of the Mediterranean as well as a strong foundation in both the sea and the land. Alaiye reached a specific status in developing internal, external and transit trade.

Alaiye in the first half of the 14th century remained among important cities of Anatolia and the Mediterranean by an essential naval base as a leading commercial city of Anatolian Seljuk and as a center of trade and shipbuilding by a strong relations with Egypt and Syria. Mostly Egyptian merchants who came for famous cedars used in the construction of the ships as well as Genoese, Venetian and Florentine merchants bought spices, canvas and sugar. Pegolotti in his “practura della mercatura” book introduced a table for weights and measurements used in Alanya with Italian in comparison. Egyptian and Syrian merchants were traveling to the Black Sea ports via Alanya.

Alaiye felt into the Kingdom of Cyprus for a short period after the collapse of Seljuk Sultanate (1293) and then came under the dominance of Ottoman after Karaman and Alaiye principality (1471). Süleymaniye Mosque, covered market with Ottoman bazaar at Upper Castle (Yukari Kale) and traditional Alanya houses are monuments of Ottoman period.

Alaiye in Republican period took its name at request of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who visited the city.

Many local and foreign travelers mention about Alanya Castle. In 1332, Ibn-i Batuta stated export of timber to Alexandria, Damietta and Egyptian cities; in 1650s, Katip Çelebi noted growing cotton, silk and sesame by comparison of Alanya Castle in point of its magnificence with the Baghdad Castle; and in 1671 Evliya Çelebi expressed that there were three hundreds houses, Süleymaniye Mosque and Akşebe Small Mosque, a cistern, houses without patio in the Middle Fortress (Orta Hisar), two madrasas, six schools, three khans, one bath, one fountain and one hundred fifty shops at the Lower Castle (Asagi Kale), all streets having steps and Access provided by mules and donkeys.

Setton Llyod in his Ala’iyye book separated Alanya Castle as five (5) regions by segmentation of walls. The first region is as a shape of crescent, which its one end is Red Tower and another one the shipyard; second is the lower pitched part of the hill above the first region; third is region of Ehmedek and its extending area to Castle (İçkale); fourth region is Castle (İçkale) and fifth is regions except Cilvarda point.’

#Alanya #Castel #History #Culture #Tourism #Turkey

Alanya Beledyesi’s website also gives a brief history of the RED TOWER.

FROM THEIR WEBSITE

‘Being one of the unique examples of the medieval Mediterranean defense structure from 13th century, Red Tower was built by order of Alaeddin Keyqubad I, the Seljuk ruler, to Ebu Ali Reha el Kettani who was a master builder from Aleppo in order to protect harbor, shipyard and Alanya Castle against attacks from the sea.

Red Tower as today and past has attracted the attention with its monumental view and subjected to many books. Evliya Celebi, a 17th century traveler, stated “there is a solid octagonal tower at sea side of Castle of Alanya, this tower can hold two thousands (2000) men during siege and second gateman who live in here has fourty (40) soldiers”.

Due to build on a bedrock at sloping ground, the structure has 33 m at east but 3 m shorter at west side. At bottom main walls, rectangular limestone, uniformly cut and stick together, and classic shafts and red bricks at upper sections were used.

There are a writing “Gratitude to Allah” on north wall surface of the structure, a four-line inscription which is 10 m up from the ground, written on behalf of Alaeddin Keyqubad and stated its constructions as April 1226 and another writing on south wall. Inscription of constructor on right wall of the entrance, name of the master who built the structure is specified. There are total of fifty-six (56) crenel windows at facades of Red Tower, twenty-two (22) spans for pouring hot pitch and water and six (6) gargoyles inline to repel and to make impossible to escape.  

With its octagonal plan, Red Tower has a complex plan at inside contrary to its exterior view. Red Tower has five floors as ground and first floors, entresol, open floor and open terrace.

In opposition to its monumental appearance of the structure, probably due to military purposes, ground floor can be reached by a small and simple entrance and a narrow corridor. Surrounding of octagonal pillar in the center covers a vaulted corridor. According to Ibrahim Hakkı Konyalı, the first time of the structure at ground and first floors, there were the lowered rooms made from wood, which extendeded from the beginning of the corridor vault to upper cover, used by guards to rest. The ground floor is used for exhibition area in present.

Reached by a high stone steps, a large cistern is placed at upper part of the foot in the center of 1st floor. Even today functioning, mouth part of the cistern is found at open floor.

One each air shafts are placed in the middle of octagon sides at the base of corridor, close to the cistern. The door at northwestern of the structure, which is at floor used as an exhibition area, opens to the exterior walls. Big ship graffiti can be seen on right wall.   

There are spans for pouring hot pitch and water at entresol shaped as a narrow corridor.

There are total of fifteen (16) air shafts in two rows at mouth and surroundings of the cistern in the middle of open terrace. Light entered from these shafts can reached to first floor. ‘ 

You can find out more about Alanya’s historical sites on the ALANYA Beledyesi Website

FOLLOW THIS LINK TO FIND OUT MORE

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