The Castles of İzmir
Ayasuluk Castle - Selçuk
Ayasuluk Castle is in Selçuk, which is regarded as one of the largest open-air museums in the world. It is located on the Ayasuluk Hill, which was the first place of settlement of Ephesus, one of the most famous cities of antiquity. The castle is also famous for its view overlooking Selcuk. It is not known exactly which year the castle was built.
The city walls seen today belong to Byzantine, Aydınoğulları, and Ottoman periods. The walls, built of stone, brick, and plaster, are supported by 15 towers. In the castle, there are stone-tiled streets, cisterns of various sizes, a mosque and at the highest point the remains of a church.
Çandarlı Castle is located in the beautiful Çandarlı neighborhood of Dikili district. This magnificent castle, the construction date of which is unknown, was restored by the Genoese in the 14th century and it was rebuilt in the 15th century by the order of Grand Vizier Çandarlı Halil Pasha.
Çandarlı Castle, which underwent another big restoration between 2009 and 2014, was added to the tentative World Heritage List by UNESCO in 2013. It's not only valuable for its historical importance but also for the amazing view.
If you visit Çandarlı in the summer, you can cool off and forget about your fatigue by leaving yourself to the sparkling waters of the Aegean from the beach just in front of the castle.
Çeşme Castle, which protected the town for centuries, continues to fascinate those who see it with its glory. Still glorious today, it’s also home to the Çeşme Archeology Museum.
The castle was had built by the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II in 1508 to protect Çeşme, which was a strategical trading town. It’s regarded as one of the most important historical and cultural values of Çeşme.
The castle was located just by the sea when it was first built but now is inland because of the shore was filled in time. It still stands upright today with its six towers and three trenches. In front of the castle is a statue of the great Turkish commander Admiral Hasan Paşa of Algeria with his lion at his side.
Occasionally international festivals and music competitions are held in this historic castle.
Keçi (Goat) Castle
The castle, located on the summit of Alaman Mountain, near Belevi Village of Selçuk District, is about 300 meters high. It's thought to be built in the Hellenistic Period, around 300 B.C. It was used actively during the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman periods. The castle, which controls the trade routes of the region and is at a critical point in terms of the military because it sees the whole of Menderes Plain, has faced many attacks for many centuries. In fact, according to the legend, a commander who tried to conquer the fortress attached flashlights to the horns of hundreds of goats one night, and the inhabitants who thought that a crowded army was attacking them left the castle and thus the castle could be conquered without fighting.
Sığacık Castle is located in the coastline of Seferihisar, one of the most peaceful districts of İzmir with fame exceeding the borders of the country. It was built by Mustafa Pasha upon the order of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent in 1521-1522 and consists of an inner castle and an outer castle. In the fortress, where the stones of the Ancient City of Teos were used in its walls, served as a naval base in the past. Today, there are houses, mosques, shops, and masjids inside the castle.
With the Calm City movement, serious touristic activity started in the Sığacık Castle. In this calm town by the coast, there are tea gardens, cafés, many seafood restaurants, and cute little fishermen’s diners that you can enjoy.