Çardak Castle, locally known as Çardak Kalesi or Gavur Kalesi, lies on a 740 m high summit in the pine covered hills east of the village with the same name in the province of Osmaniye in Turkey.
Çardak Castle not only has a commanding view north onto the road leading to the Amanus pass (guarded by Savranda Castle), but it guards the junction of 4 different trails across the Anti-Taurus Mountains. It also has clear intervisibility with Haruniye Castle to the northeast and Toprakkale Castle to the west.
When Çardak Castle was built and what its medieval name was, is unknown. It is possible that Çardak Castle was the castle named Hamus mentioned in medieval texts. Hamus Castle was built by the Byzantines. Later it was seized by the Armenians.
It is said that Stephen, the brother of Thoros II, Prince of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, was murdered at Hamus Castle.
Around 1268 Hamus Castle was hit by an earthquake which caused great damage. In 1298 the castle was sieged and taken by a Mamluk army under command of Bektash and al-Muzaffar.
Çardak Castle was used as a garrison fort and has a rectangular ground plan. It is clearly a Byzantine structure and the only remnant of the Armenian occupation is a chapel ruin.
According to locals the ruin of Çardak Castle was used frequently as a storage depot by smugglers from Syria in the 20th century.
At present Çardak Castle is freely accessible. However, it is not signposted, the nearest road is a dirt road and there is no distinguishable path from that road to the castle. You will just have to find your way through the pine forest and the undergrowth. But this all adds to the experience and makes it feel like a discovery.