Kız Castle

Kız Castle

Kız Castle, locally known as Kız Kalesi, lies on a small island some 400 m from the shore in front of the village of Yumurtalık, in the province of Adana in Turkey. Its name translates as Maiden's Castle.

Some structures were probably first built on this small island during the Late Classical Period to complement the classical Greek city of Aegea (much later called Ayas) on the site of the present village. During the 12th century these structures were probably rebuilt by the Byzantines under Alexios I Komnenos into a fortification.

At some point the fortification was taken over by the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia who rebuilt the castle in or about 1282. It is likely that ltalian merchants commissioned and financed the building of this sea castle by Armenian masons. Together with the opposite Ayas Castle on the mainland, it protected the port of Ayas where oriental trade was loaded onto Venetian or Genoan merchant ships. It may have served as a custom station.

In 1305 and again in 1320 Armenian forces dispatched from the north prevented a Mamluk attack on the port. However, in the spring of 1322 a huge force of Egyptians burnt the town and severely damaged Ayas Castle and probably also Kız Castle. By 1337 the Mamluks took permanent possession of Ayas. Later that century Ayas faded into obscurity.

At present Kiz Castle can freely be visited. That is to say, only small boats like kayaks are able to land on the small island as there is no pier where larger boats can dock. For a small fee however you'll be able to find a fisherman in the harbor who will sail you around the island in his boat to take at least a closer look. Too bad I couldn't get on the island.


Gallery

Kız Castle

Kız Castle

Kız Castle, locally known as Kız Kalesi, lies on a small island some 400 m from the shore in front of the village of Yumurtalık, in the province of Adana in Turkey. Its name translates as Maiden's Castle.

Some structures were probably first built on this small island during the Late Classical Period to complement the classical Greek city of Aegea (much later called Ayas) on the site of the present village. During the 12th century these structures were probably rebuilt by the Byzantines under Alexios I Komnenos into a fortification.

At some point the fortification was taken over by the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia who rebuilt the castle in or about 1282. It is likely that ltalian merchants commissioned and financed the building of this sea castle by Armenian masons. Together with the opposite Ayas Castle on the mainland, it protected the port of Ayas where oriental trade was loaded onto Venetian or Genoan merchant ships. It may have served as a custom station.

In 1305 and again in 1320 Armenian forces dispatched from the north prevented a Mamluk attack on the port. However, in the spring of 1322 a huge force of Egyptians burnt the town and severely damaged Ayas Castle and probably also Kız Castle. By 1337 the Mamluks took permanent possession of Ayas. Later that century Ayas faded into obscurity.

At present Kiz Castle can freely be visited. That is to say, only small boats like kayaks are able to land on the small island as there is no pier where larger boats can dock. For a small fee however you'll be able to find a fisherman in the harbor who will sail you around the island in his boat to take at least a closer look. Too bad I couldn't get on the island.


Gallery