Alanya Castle is like an abstract of the history of Alanya, which has been a popular settlement throughout history due to its location.
Built to make Alanya a protected area, which is always wanted to be seized due to its strategic importance and therefore needed to be defended, it is possible to see almost every civilization in the history of Alanya on its walls and inside the Castle, although most of the castle made in Seljuk style. Alanya Castle, which is thought to date back to the 3rd century BC, is one of the most robust defense structures on earth.
It can be a bit tiring to walk the entire Castle, which has 6.5 kilometers of city walls. However, the excitement of discovering a symbol or an inscription hidden on its walls and doors and its spectacular view, including Cleopatra Beach, are certainly worth the effort. Moreover, this is not just a trip to the walls.
Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman artifacts are found in the inner castle section which can be described as an Open Air Museum and is thought to have been inhabited contemporarily with the history of Alanya.
Churches and chapels from the Byzantine Period, the commercial structure Bedesten, the Masjid and Mausoleum dated 1230 bearing the name of Akşebe Sultan who was one of the first commanders of the Castle, the Seljuk palace where the remains of old buildings were used for its construction, houses and baths proving that a large population once lived here, more than 400 cisterns that met the water needs of the Castle, dungeons, Suleymaniye Mosque which is a 13th century work but rebuilt by Suleiman the Magnificent, and the lighthouse dated 1720 that led ships for many years are a few of the ruins you can discover.
Red Tower: Symbol of Alanya
Alanya Castle took its present form during the Anatolian Seljuk Period, the brightest years during which Alanya was the Anatolian Seljuk capital. The Red Tower, which is the symbol of Alanya, was added to city walls in this period. The tower, which is octagonal and built by Kayqubad I in 1226, is 33 meters high and takes its name from the color of its material. It has survived in a very well preserved condition and the first floor is used today as the Ethnographic Museum.
Shipyard: The only example to date
The arched structure seen near the Red Tower by the sea is the only one of its kind remaining from Seljuk period that made the Seljuks strong in the seas. The shipyard, built by Kayqubad I, was not only used for ship building and repairing, but also producing sails and other ship equipment. The shipyard, which continued to be used until the 1960s, is now waiting for its visitors as the “Ship and Maritime Museum”.