Kilitbahir Castle

Kilitbahir Castle

Kilitbahir Castle, locally known as Kilitbahir Kalesi, lies on the shore in the center of the village of the same name (also known as Kilîdü'l-bahr), in the province of Çanakkale in Turkey.

In 1452, during his preparation for the siege of Byzantine Constantinople, the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II acknowledged the strategic importance of the Dardanelles Strait. So, in order to cut off the sea route that could supply or be used by European forces to relieve the city, he started to build 2 castles at the narrowest point of the strait; Kilitbahir on the European side and Çimenlik on the Asian side. These castles served a similar purpose as the castles of Rumelihisarı and Anadoluhisarı on the Bosphorus Strait.

Although, there are some sources that state that they were built after the 1453 conquest of Constantinople, around 1463. In that case they were probably built to prevent European forces to try and retake the city.

When Kilitbahir Castle was finished, situated on the slope of a hill, it was a formidable stronghold. It consisted of a triangular, 7-storey, keep protected by inner castle walls and outer castle walls. The inner castle had a unique design; 3 almost round courtyards connecting at the keep, giving the castle plan the appearance of a three-leaf clover. The water of the strait would have lapped the outer castle walls. Like its counterpart Çimenlik, Kilitbahir was armed with tens of cannons.

In 1541 the castle was strengthened by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. A new courtyard was attached to the south side of the outer castle walls, protected by a new round tower; the Sarı Tower. During the Cretan War with Venice (1645-69) the Ottomans restored it.

Kilitbahir was again restored during the construction of Namazgâh Bastion next to it, around 1870. Although by then it had lost its military importance and probably served as lodging and administrative purposes.

At present Kilitbahir Castle is a museum which you can visit for a fee. If you are in the region; visit it, it is certainly worthwhile. Recommended!


Gallery

Kilitbahir Castle

Kilitbahir Castle

Kilitbahir Castle, locally known as Kilitbahir Kalesi, lies on the shore in the center of the village of the same name (also known as Kilîdü'l-bahr), in the province of Çanakkale in Turkey.

In 1452, during his preparation for the siege of Byzantine Constantinople, the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II acknowledged the strategic importance of the Dardanelles Strait. So, in order to cut off the sea route that could supply or be used by European forces to relieve the city, he started to build 2 castles at the narrowest point of the strait; Kilitbahir on the European side and Çimenlik on the Asian side. These castles served a similar purpose as the castles of Rumelihisarı and Anadoluhisarı on the Bosphorus Strait.

Although, there are some sources that state that they were built after the 1453 conquest of Constantinople, around 1463. In that case they were probably built to prevent European forces to try and retake the city.

When Kilitbahir Castle was finished, situated on the slope of a hill, it was a formidable stronghold. It consisted of a triangular, 7-storey, keep protected by inner castle walls and outer castle walls. The inner castle had a unique design; 3 almost round courtyards connecting at the keep, giving the castle plan the appearance of a three-leaf clover. The water of the strait would have lapped the outer castle walls. Like its counterpart Çimenlik, Kilitbahir was armed with tens of cannons.

In 1541 the castle was strengthened by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. A new courtyard was attached to the south side of the outer castle walls, protected by a new round tower; the Sarı Tower. During the Cretan War with Venice (1645-69) the Ottomans restored it.

Kilitbahir was again restored during the construction of Namazgâh Bastion next to it, around 1870. Although by then it had lost its military importance and probably served as lodging and administrative purposes.

At present Kilitbahir Castle is a museum which you can visit for a fee. If you are in the region; visit it, it is certainly worthwhile. Recommended!


Gallery