Üngüzek Castle

Üngüzek Castle, locally known as Üngüzek Kalesi, stands on a very steep cliff towering above the Tortum river and the main road from Erzurum to Artvin, south of the town of Uzundere, in the province of Erzurum in Turkey.

I am not quite sure about the name of this castle. It is most commonly known as Üngüzek Kalesi, but I have also seen it called Dikyar Kalesi (probably because of its location at the beginning of the road leading to nearby Dikyar village) and Aǧcakale. The road sign directing you to the castle however, calls it Engüzekkapi Kalesi, a name I have not found anywhere else.

There is no definite information about the history of Üngüzek Castle. It was most probably built in the Middle Ages by Turkish beys. But there are also theories contributing it to the Byzantines or the Genoese.

I was not able to find any other historical information about this castle. If you know more, please mail me.

The interior of the castle is said to house the remains of a shrine, a bakery and a bath, but I could not find a safe way in. I did see the entrance but getting there seemed to involve some serious rock climbing and, as I was alone and without gear, I did not take the risk.

Üngüzek Castle has a peculiar structure at its north side, looking like a beehive clinging to the cliff wall. This probably is some kind of covered staircase leading down from the castle atop of the cliff to almost halfway down. I think its purpose may have been to secure safe passage to a stream, running at the foot of the cliff.

A very beautiful castle on a great location. Getting to it will take some 20 minutes of hiking up the hill over loose gravel and through shrubs.


Gallery

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Üngüzek Castle

Üngüzek Castle, locally known as Üngüzek Kalesi, stands on a very steep cliff towering above the Tortum river and the main road from Erzurum to Artvin, south of the town of Uzundere, in the province of Erzurum in Turkey.

I am not quite sure about the name of this castle. It is most commonly known as Üngüzek Kalesi, but I have also seen it called Dikyar Kalesi (probably because of its location at the beginning of the road leading to nearby Dikyar village) and Aǧcakale. The road sign directing you to the castle however, calls it Engüzekkapi Kalesi, a name I have not found anywhere else.

There is no definite information about the history of Üngüzek Castle. It was most probably built in the Middle Ages by Turkish beys. But there are also theories contributing it to the Byzantines or the Genoese.

I was not able to find any other historical information about this castle. If you know more, please mail me.

The interior of the castle is said to house the remains of a shrine, a bakery and a bath, but I could not find a safe way in. I did see the entrance but getting there seemed to involve some serious rock climbing and, as I was alone and without gear, I did not take the risk.

Üngüzek Castle has a peculiar structure at its north side, looking like a beehive clinging to the cliff wall. This probably is some kind of covered staircase leading down from the castle atop of the cliff to almost halfway down. I think its purpose may have been to secure safe passage to a stream, running at the foot of the cliff.

A very beautiful castle on a great location. Getting to it will take some 20 minutes of hiking up the hill over loose gravel and through shrubs.


Gallery

View the embedded image gallery online at:
http://castles.nl/unguzek-castle#sigFreeId6895535cd1