Karafrenk Castle

Karafrenk Castle

Karafrenk Castle, locally known as Karafrenk Kalesi, lies in a small rural hamlet of the same name, in the province of Osmaniye in Turkey.

Karafrenk Castle is situated on a mountain pass high up in the Nur Mountains, which were historically known as the Amanus Mountains. This mountain range during history was often a natural border between the region of Cilicia in what is now Turkey and Syria.

A document from 1271 relates that the Teutonic Knights possessed a toll station in the vicinity of Savranda Castle known as the ‘Black Tower’. It is thought that Karafrenk may be that fortification as it is built out of dark-colored stones, "kara" translates to "black" and "frenk" may be referring to "Frank". But as with most fortifications dating back to medieval times in Cilicia, which was the area of an Armenian kingdom between the end of the 11th century until the late 14th century, its medieval name nor history is known.

Deduced from the architectural remains Karafrenk dates back to the 13th century. Its layout; square with 4 round corner towers, suggests a Crusader design as this was unknown in Armenian military architecture. A design it shares with the castles of Tumil, Kütüklü and Yaka, all in Mersin Province.

Up until the end of the last century there were 2 modern dwellings built within the ruined castle. These have now gone but some traces still remain.

At present Karafrenk Castle can freely be visited. However the small road leading up to the hamlet is a winding, unpaved mountain road best to be driven with a 4WD. The 4 km road from Hasanbeyli will take up to 20 minutes to drive but the trip is worth it. A very nice small castle ruin with beautiful views over the valley.


Gallery

Karafrenk Castle

Karafrenk Castle

Karafrenk Castle, locally known as Karafrenk Kalesi, lies in a small rural hamlet of the same name, in the province of Osmaniye in Turkey.

Karafrenk Castle is situated on a mountain pass high up in the Nur Mountains, which were historically known as the Amanus Mountains. This mountain range during history was often a natural border between the region of Cilicia in what is now Turkey and Syria.

A document from 1271 relates that the Teutonic Knights possessed a toll station in the vicinity of Savranda Castle known as the ‘Black Tower’. It is thought that Karafrenk may be that fortification as it is built out of dark-colored stones, "kara" translates to "black" and "frenk" may be referring to "Frank". But as with most fortifications dating back to medieval times in Cilicia, which was the area of an Armenian kingdom between the end of the 11th century until the late 14th century, its medieval name nor history is known.

Deduced from the architectural remains Karafrenk dates back to the 13th century. Its layout; square with 4 round corner towers, suggests a Crusader design as this was unknown in Armenian military architecture. A design it shares with the castles of Tumil, Kütüklü and Yaka, all in Mersin Province.

Up until the end of the last century there were 2 modern dwellings built within the ruined castle. These have now gone but some traces still remain.

At present Karafrenk Castle can freely be visited. However the small road leading up to the hamlet is a winding, unpaved mountain road best to be driven with a 4WD. The 4 km road from Hasanbeyli will take up to 20 minutes to drive but the trip is worth it. A very nice small castle ruin with beautiful views over the valley.


Gallery