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Mamure Castle, Mersin

Mamure Castle is one of the Turkish castles that have survived to the present day on the Mediterranean coastline. Built on high cliffs and plains, Mamure Castle, like many Anatolian castles, was built on old foundations. It has not been determined exactly when and by whom the ancient foundations made of large cut stones were built. The castle consists of three parts: the inner courtyard separated by high walls in the east, the outer castle in the west and the inner castle built on the rocks to the south of them. The castle, which has 39 towers, water cisterns, a mosque and a bath outside, is surrounded by a defense ditch 10 meters wide. The lower parts of the castle walls are wide. The upper parts narrow upwards. Various stones and Khorasan mortar were used in the construction of the walls and bastions. Cut stone was used in the arches of the entrance doors, some windows and wall corners. Brick was used in the repairs and additions made in the later periods.

mersin anamur province

There are interconnected galleries within the two-storey castle walls. The bastions and viewing points on the upper floor are reached by stairs. Starting from the thick and high watchtower called the main castle on the south side of the castle, there is the main castle in circular and four-cornered forms and the completely destroyed Lighthouse Tower. In the outer castle, there is a centrally planned, single-domed mosque and a fountain, warehouses, cisterns and structures that are likely to be a military settlement. In some publications, the grave of Huseyin Gazi in the castle is mentioned. The first construction of the mosque, which carries the classical elements of 16th century Ottoman architecture, belongs to the Karamanogullari Period.

mamure castle mersin

The entrance used today is not the main entrance of the castle. The main entrance gate has a rectangular plan between the two towers, on the north of the inner courtyard. It has six lines of inscription on it. The inscription briefly reads: “It was built by Sultan İbrahim, son of Karamanoglu Alaaddinoglu Mehmet. The town and castle of Mamure is the corner that helps the war. The protected settlement was completed as a gift by helping jihad in the way of Allah. Thank you for showing the right path from Allah’s blessings and for being vigilant. This date was written in 854 in the month of Mukerrem Shawwal. The bridge connecting the entrance gate to the outside and providing the entrance to the castle from the ditch does not exist today. The water requirement of the castle is provided by the two pointed arched waterway above the ditch where the bastion is located, to the northeast of the main entrance gate. In case the castle was besieged, the water requirement would also be met from the cisterns located in different parts of the castle. It is estimated that there was a Roman settlement in and around the castle, which was not thought to be very important in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD.

mamure castle

There are remains of a bathhouse in the north of the castle. As a result of the salvage excavations carried out by the Anamur Museum Directorate in 1988; The rooms, which were built of rubble stone, with Khorasan mortar, and which were thought to be a bath and a dwelling, were unearthed. These remains are thought to belong to the Ancient City of Rigmonai. A large amount of pottery from the Late Roman Period was found during the rescue excavation. Upon the occupation and destruction of Anamur and Taşeli by the Christians, Karamanoglu Mahmut Bey (1300-1308) defeated the enemy with his army and captured the castle, had churches destroyed, had a mosque built, enriched the castle and named it Mamuriye. There are documents that the castle was later repaired in the middle of the 16th century and at the end of the 18th century and new additions were made to the castle. Finally, repairs were made by the General Directorate of Foundations in the 1960s. The craftsmanship and construction technique of the castle is reminiscent of Alanya Castle.

Gül Demirci

Hello, I am Gul, I write content for Expat Guide Turkey every day. Don't forget to check it out!

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