Eskihisar Castle

Eskihisar Castle, locally known as Eskihisar Kalesi, lies in the village of the same name, in the province of Kocaeli in Turkey.

Eskihisar Castle was first mentioned in 1241 as a Byzantine fortification. The inner walls of the castle were built by the Emperor Manuel I Komnenos in the second part of the 12th century. The Byzantine Emperor of Nicaea, John III Ducas Vatatzes, built the curtain walls of the inner castle in 1241. The outer walls and the towers in the southeast corner were built during the reign of the Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos, around 1300.

It stayed in Byzantine hands until 1329. Then the region was lost to the Ottomans after a Byzantine army, led by the Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos, lost the Battle of Pelekanon from the Ottoman Bey, Orhan I. Maybe Pelekanon was the Byzantine name for Eskihisar but this is uncertain.

In 1403 Eskihisar, together with Darıca and Hereke, was shortly returned to the Byzantines by Süleyman Çelebi in return for Byzantine support in interregnum following the Ottoman defeat to Temurlane at the Battle of Ankara. It fell back into Ottoman hands quickly after.

It was built on a steep hillside on the coast of the Gulf of Izmit, most probably to protect a Byzantine harbor.

Between 1995 and 2000 Eskihisar Castle was restored and archaeologically excavated. After that it was opened and used for cultural activities. Since a couple of years however the castle has been closed and seems not to be used anymore. Even some walls where one might climb in were greased over...

A great castle. Too bad it can not be entered.


Gallery

Eskihisar Castle

Eskihisar Castle, locally known as Eskihisar Kalesi, lies in the village of the same name, in the province of Kocaeli in Turkey.

Eskihisar Castle was first mentioned in 1241 as a Byzantine fortification. The inner walls of the castle were built by the Emperor Manuel I Komnenos in the second part of the 12th century. The Byzantine Emperor of Nicaea, John III Ducas Vatatzes, built the curtain walls of the inner castle in 1241. The outer walls and the towers in the southeast corner were built during the reign of the Emperor Andronikos II Palaiologos, around 1300.

It stayed in Byzantine hands until 1329. Then the region was lost to the Ottomans after a Byzantine army, led by the Emperor Andronikos III Palaiologos, lost the Battle of Pelekanon from the Ottoman Bey, Orhan I. Maybe Pelekanon was the Byzantine name for Eskihisar but this is uncertain.

In 1403 Eskihisar, together with Darıca and Hereke, was shortly returned to the Byzantines by Süleyman Çelebi in return for Byzantine support in interregnum following the Ottoman defeat to Temurlane at the Battle of Ankara. It fell back into Ottoman hands quickly after.

It was built on a steep hillside on the coast of the Gulf of Izmit, most probably to protect a Byzantine harbor.

Between 1995 and 2000 Eskihisar Castle was restored and archaeologically excavated. After that it was opened and used for cultural activities. Since a couple of years however the castle has been closed and seems not to be used anymore. Even some walls where one might climb in were greased over...

A great castle. Too bad it can not be entered.


Gallery