Strategically located with the Mediterranean to the south and the Tarsus mountains to the north, Alanya is not only a modern city thriving with tourists but was once an important part of the Pamphilian plain. Details of the city have been well preserved by travel writers such as Piri Reis, Evliye Celebi and Ibn Batutta as they passed through the city and its castle many centuries ago.
During the Hellenistic period, the Alanya Castle belonged to a city known as Kalonoros. However, things changed drastically in the 13th century when the city was transformed by the 13th century Seljuk Sultan Ala’al-Din Kay-Qubadh (Kaikobad). It was also in his time when the city was given the name, Alaiyye which eventually changed to Alanya in 1935 by Ataturk.
The entire castle area is encircled by 6 kilometres of walls. Inside you’ll find the remains of an 11th-century church and the 16th-century Suleymaniye Mosque in Turkey, which proves that religions coexisted harmoniously. The most notable part of the castle has to be the 29 meters high Red Tower which is known to be the symbol of the city.
Located atop a 250m high and rocky peninsular, making your way to the castle is no easy feat. But if you choose to take the long and arduous walk by climbing the steep streets of the Tophane district, you’ll be rewarded with views of ruins of former forts as well as mosques which are hundreds of years old.
If you’re not up to walking, there is a cable car which takes you from street level right up to the castle located 250 meters from the sea. If you’re wanting to get some awesome views of the houses around the castle as well as the small forests around the walls, be sure to take the cable cars. The 2,953-foot-long Alanya cable car takes you from Damlatas at the eastern end of Cleopatra Beach to the Ehmedek Castle area.
As Alanya is located on the southwest coast of Turkey, it basks in sun all year round. Sure, there may be some rainfall. But sunshine is guaranteed for cmost of the year, making it an ideal holiday spot for all seasons.
Main Image Creidt -Tunc Ozturk, Unsplash