Hereke Castle

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

It is said that the castle dates back to the 640's when it was built on a hill by the Byzantines probably to protect a harbor on the coast of the Gulf of Izmit. The settlement, first known as Ancryon, was then renamed Hereke, after the Emperor Heraclius.

Hereke Castle stayed in Byzantine hands until 1326. Then it was taken after an Ottoman siege led by Ali Bey for the Ottoman Bey Orhan I. In 1403 Hereke, together with Darıca and Eskihisar, 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 mentioned by the 17th century Ottoman explorer Evliya Çelebi in his 'Book of Travel'. During the 1509 Constantinople Earthquake the castle was completely destroyed and was probably never rebuilt. 

In the last decade a decision was made to rebuild Hereke Castle in order to make it a tourist attraction. How much remained of the original structure at the start of the rebuilding campaign I do not know. At present the castle is still being rebuilt.

Even though it has been completely rebuilt and there are no more traces of anything original, it is a nice site because of the views over the Gulf of Izmit. But watch out for the ferocious watchdog.


Gallery

Hereke Castle

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

It is said that the castle dates back to the 640's when it was built on a hill by the Byzantines probably to protect a harbor on the coast of the Gulf of Izmit. The settlement, first known as Ancryon, was then renamed Hereke, after the Emperor Heraclius.

Hereke Castle stayed in Byzantine hands until 1326. Then it was taken after an Ottoman siege led by Ali Bey for the Ottoman Bey Orhan I. In 1403 Hereke, together with Darıca and Eskihisar, 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 mentioned by the 17th century Ottoman explorer Evliya Çelebi in his 'Book of Travel'. During the 1509 Constantinople Earthquake the castle was completely destroyed and was probably never rebuilt. 

In the last decade a decision was made to rebuild Hereke Castle in order to make it a tourist attraction. How much remained of the original structure at the start of the rebuilding campaign I do not know. At present the castle is still being rebuilt.

Even though it has been completely rebuilt and there are no more traces of anything original, it is a nice site because of the views over the Gulf of Izmit. But watch out for the ferocious watchdog.


Gallery