Citadel of Alanya
The walls of the Citadel of Alanya have a length of nearly 6,5 kilometres and it is situated on a peninsula at a height of 250 metres above sea-level. The first settlement on the Alanya peninsula, known as Kandeleri, dates back to the Hellenistic period. However, the remnants to be seen today belong to the 13th century Selçuk period.
The Selçuk sultan Aladdin Keykubat, who conquered and rebuilt the city in 1221, had the citadel constructed. It has 83 towers and 140 bastions. Some of the 400 cisterns used to supply the medieval city with water are still used today.
The walls were strategically planned up to the farthest point of the peninsula where the Sultan’s palace used to be and which is now an open-air museum. Parts of the citadel are still inhabited today and in the old houses one can admire traditional crafts such as silk and cotton weaving and painted gourds. In the small gardens meals are served. En route to the citadel, overlooking the harbour, there are cafes and restaurants. You can either walk or drive to the citadel.
Another construction from the Selçuk period is the octagonal Red Tower in the harbour. The name is derived from the fired red bricks it is made of.
You can climb the 33 metres high tower from ground level up to the fifth floor and will notice that sunlight from the top streams down all the way to the bottom. The tower was constructed to defend the town: it protected the harbour and dockyard from naval attacks for centuries. After restoration, the tower was opened in 1979 as the museum for Ethnography.
The same Sultan had the arched Dockyard constructed in 1228 and because he had previously erected another dockyard in Sinop, he became known as the “Sultan of the Two Seas”. There is a small mosque and a guard-room at the entrance.
Visits can be made either from boats or by walking from the walls near Kizilkule. Admission is free of charge. Next to the Dockyard there is a Gun House which was also part of the military defence plan of the city. Cannons for the battleships used to be made there.
Another interesting historical building, the Suleyamine Mosque, dates back to the Selçuk and Ottoman periods. It boasts some fine examples of wood carving on doors and windows from the latter period.