Alanya Castle - Antalya / Turkey


Alanya Overview
It is a tourist center famous for the historic remnants and natural beauty. The old quarter is located on a peninsula, the western and southern coasts of which are steep and abrupt. Modern Alanya is to the east and west of the peninsula.

Alanya, a famous pirate city in antiquity, entered its golden age in the period of the Anatolian Seljuks after Roman and Byzantine domination. Upon the capture of the city, it was named after its conquered, the Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat; and the city, rebuilt in this period, became a foremost commercial and cultural city. After the construction of the castle and the dockyard, it developed into an important port city reflecting the qualities of a typical Seljuk city.

The Alanya Castle, atop a high hill on the peninsula, was first built in Hellenistic period; yet the remains from this period are very few. The present structure, built between 1224 and 1230, is in Anatolian Seljuk -style. It is the best preserved castle in Anatolia, and the 8,5 -kilometer- long city walls rank first on the Anatolian peninsula. The castle consists of three parts; as the lower, middle and inner castle. In the castle are gates, walls, towers, a bath, a bedesten, a bazaar, many cisterns, a chapel, a church, the mescid and tomb of Ak-şebe Sultan, a palace and the Süleymaniye Mosque.

Among these monuments the chapel and the church are from Byzantine, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the bedesten and the bazaar are from Ottoman and the others are from Anatolian Seljuks’ time. There have been excavations and restorations here lately. The view from the castle, accessible by car, is exquisitely beautiful.

The dockyard, still standing intact, is the sole surviving Seljuk dockyard. The Red Tower, built in 1227 in order to protect the castle and the dockyard, is an impressive brick tower standing 33 m.

The Damlataş Cave, in the center, is one of the favourites with the visitors. It is the best known cave in Alanya and dates back 15.000 years. It has charming stalactites and stalagmites of different colours and a constant temperature of 22 – 23 °C. It is reputed to be beneficial to asthma and rheumatism because of the temperature, 90 -100 % moisture, the rate of carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen and the radioactivity. Another cave in Alanya the Kızlar Cave (the Pirate’s Cave) is one of the grottos of particular interest.

Other places in the center worth a visit are the city museum, housing archeological and ethnographical exhibits, and Atatürk’s House. The Alara Castle and Han, Incekum beach and forest, the Dim Brook and cave, and the Şarapsa Han around Alanya are among the most interesting places in the area.