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ANAMUR TOUR

MAMURE CASTLE

Description

Mamure Castle is located at the Mediterranean Sea side, on the Antalya-Mersin Highway, 6 km south-east of Anamur and 216 km west of Mersin.

The castle, covering an area of 23.500 m2, is one of the biggest and well-protected castles of Turkey. Although the exact construction date of the castle is uncertain, it is believed to have been built by the Romans either in the 3rd or the 4th century, due to the excavations conducted in 1988 by the Directorate of Anamur Museum. These excavations revealed archaeological remains that have mosaic floor covering which belong to a Late Roman city (3rd-4th c. A.D.) called “Ryg Monai”, a city not prominent in that period. On the other hand, it is also known as the outer protective castle of the Anamurium Antique City.

The Castle was later on enlarged and used by the Byzantine Empire and the Crusades. When Anatolian Seljuk Sultan Aleaddin Keykubat I captured the ruins of the castle in 1221, he built a larger castle partially using the foundation of the former castle. It was later on incorporated into the realm of Karamanids. According to the work of Sikari (historian of the Karamanids), after Anamur and Taseli had been captured and destroyed by enemies, Mahmut of Karaman defeated them and then he captured the castle, repaired it again and renamed it as Mamure (prosperous). Although the exact date is uncertain, according to an inscription erected by _ brahim II of Karaman in 1450, the castle was captured during Mahmut's reign (1300–1308). In 1475, the castle was annexed by the Ottoman Empire. During the Ottoman reign, the castle was repaired in the 15th, 16th and 18th centuries and a part of the castle was used as a caravanserai.

The castle is surrounded by a moat on the land side. The road on the rampart connects the 39 towers (4 of them are bigger than the others) and a lot of battlements to each other. There are 3 main yards within the castle; west, east and the south, which are separated from each other by high walls. In the yard at the west there is an outer castle, a small complex of a single minaret mosque, the ruins of a hamam (Turkish bath), a fountain, warehouses and cisterns. In the east, there is an inner courtyard which has 7 bastions in different shapes on the high wall constituting its northwest border. The bastions on the north-eastern part of it have been ruined together with the wall. In the yard at the south; there is an inner citadel built over the rocks, the main watch tower which has the best view with 22 meters height inside the biggest bastion, 5 more watch towers and ruins of a light house.

 

ANAMUR HİSTORY

Founded by the Phoenicians, Anemurium was then occupied by the Assyrians and Hittites. During the Hittite period in the twelfth century BC, the ruler Tuthalia IV, granted Anemurium to Mattuvata who had taken refuge in his kingdom. Mattuvata took advantage of the Hittites’ weakness, establishing his own kingdom with Anemurium as its capital. His rule extended as far as Afyon, in central Anatolia. At the end of the twelfth century the area was occupied by a nomadic tribe that had come from across the Caucasus mountains. The tribe was called by the ancient Greeks the "Wind people" after whom the city was named. The exact reasons behind this name are lost in time. The most probable explanation however, is that they worshiped a god of wind, perhaps similar to the Greek Aeolus, as their main deity. Then the city came under the control of the Phoenicians again, and later Persians. In 333 BC Alexander the Great brought this coast within his Macedonian Empire, and he was succeeded by Seleucids and then Ancient Romans. The coast was given by Mark Anthony to Cleopatra as a wedding present and Roman coins have been discovered in the course of excavation, dating to the years between Emperors Titus  and Valevianus 
The Romans were succeeded by the Byzantines. 
The city was first occupied by an Islamic Army in the time of Umar ibn al-Khattab. 
Turkish people reached the city in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. In the thirteenth century, the Karamanids, a clan in Central Anatolia, expanded their borders towards the city, building the Alaköprü bridge (which can still be seen on the road to Ankara) and conquering the city in 1290 from Cilicia Armenians. It was also ruled by Sultanate of Rum between 1075 and 1099 and again between 1230 and 1246.

Early History


Anemurium is situated near a steep promontory with the same name,directly opposite Cyprus, which is just sixty-four kilometers away and is visible from the Taurus mountains in Anemurium’s hinterland.note This city was situated on the ancient road along the coast of Rough Cilicia (Cilicia Tracheia).After c.110, Seleucid power was in decline and the inhabitants of Rough Cilicia started to behave as pirates. Because the Cilician Pirates sold the slaves that the ancient economy could not do without, the Seleucid and Roman authorities hesitated and did not act immediately. In 78-74, however, Roman general Publius Servilius Vatia subdued western Cilicia. The last Cilician war was conducted by Marcus Tullius Cicero (51-50), who defeated the remaining independent Cilicians.

Roman city


One of the Roman bathhouses

Cilicia was now converted into a province, but Anemurium somehow remained part of Commagene, until this small kingdom was finally absorbed into the Roman Empire in 72 CE. Anemurium became the center of the Roman local administration, from which the governor controlled a section of the Cilician shore.

Late Antiquity
In 382, an official named Matronian (whose name is mentioned in an inscription) responded to another Isaurian attack by improving the walls of the citadel, where he placed a garrison that would defend the town against future raids. Safe again, the city flourished in Late Antiquity.There were several churches, like the Necropolis Church and at least three sixth-century churches. The archbishop of Seleucia on the Calycadnus (modern Silifke) appointed the bishop; we know that one James of Anemurium attended the Council of Chalcedon in 451.
Remains
The ruins of Anemurium extend over a large area, about 1500 meters long and 400 meters wide, from the beach to a steep mountain slope, which is partly covered with hundreds of Roman tombs. An intact city wall is its western boundary.
Some tombs are large, house-like structures with niches, where relatives of the deceased could pay their respect while feasting. A few tombs contain ancient funerary paintings and mosaics. Most extant structures are made of concrete and date from the second and third centuries, when Anemurium achieved its greatest prosperity.

Among the preserved public buildings are a large theater (twenty-six rows; 2700 seats), a small odeon, a large three-aisled civil basilica, and three or four impressive public baths. The largest bathhouse, a two-story vaulted roof structure up on the slope, is well preserved with intact mosaics, as well as changing rooms. It received its waters from an aqueduct.

MAMURE CASTLE

Description

Mamure Castle is located at the Mediterranean Sea side, on the Antalya-Mersin Highway, 6 km south-east of Anamur and 216 km west of Mersin.

The castle, covering an area of 23.500 m2, is one of the biggest and well-protected castles of Turkey. Although the exact construction date of the castle is uncertain, it is believed to have been built by the Romans either in the 3rd or the 4th century, due to the excavations conducted in 1988 by the Directorate of Anamur Museum. These excavations revealed archaeological remains that have mosaic floor covering which belong to a Late Roman city (3rd-4th c. A.D.) called “Ryg Monai”, a city not prominent in that period. On the other hand, it is also known as the outer protective castle of the Anamurium Antique City.

The Castle was later on enlarged and used by the Byzantine Empire and the Crusades. When Anatolian Seljuk Sultan Aleaddin Keykubat I captured the ruins of the castle in 1221, he built a larger castle partially using the foundation of the former castle. It was later on incorporated into the realm of Karamanids. According to the work of Sikari (historian of the Karamanids), after Anamur and Taseli had been captured and destroyed by enemies, Mahmut of Karaman defeated them and then he captured the castle, repaired it again and renamed it as Mamure (prosperous). Although the exact date is uncertain, according to an inscription erected by _ brahim II of Karaman in 1450, the castle was captured during Mahmut's reign (1300–1308). In 1475, the castle was annexed by the Ottoman Empire. During the Ottoman reign, the castle was repaired in the 15th, 16th and 18th centuries and a part of the castle was used as a caravanserai.

The castle is surrounded by a moat on the land side. The road on the rampart connects the 39 towers (4 of them are bigger than the others) and a lot of battlements to each other. There are 3 main yards within the castle; west, east and the south, which are separated from each other by high walls. In the yard at the west there is an outer castle, a small complex of a single minaret mosque, the ruins of a hamam (Turkish bath), a fountain, warehouses and cisterns. In the east, there is an inner courtyard which has 7 bastions in different shapes on the high wall constituting its northwest border. The bastions on the north-eastern part of it have been ruined together with the wall. In the yard at the south; there is an inner citadel built over the rocks, the main watch tower which has the best view with 22 meters height inside the biggest bastion, 5 more watch towers and ruins of a light house.

The single minaret mosque which represents the characteristics of the 16th century Ottoman architecture was built by the Karamanids. The historic mosque is still functioning and has been renovated. The hamam which is located on the north of the Castle is also believed to have been built by the Karamanids. The entrance part of the hamam has been demolished but other parts are still intact.