Mamure Castle (Mamure kalesi)


Location: 7 km (4 mi) Southeast of Anamur, Anamur District, Mersin Province Map

Tel. (0324) 814 16 77

Open: 9am- 5:30pm daily


Description of Mamure Castle

Mamure Kalesi is the best-preserved medieval castle on Turkey's southern coast. It is located in Cilicia, six kilometers east of Anamur in the province of Mersin directly on the sea.



The castle was built as a Roman fortress in the third century AD. During excavations in 1988 in the area and inside the castle, foundation walls of buildings with mosaic floors were found, which were classified as baths and residential buildings. The castle was later rebuilt under the rule of the Kingdom of Lesser Armenia. Since this was closely allied with the Crusader states, Franconian architectural elements can also be found in the castle complex. Finally, in 1375, after the end of the Lesser Armenian Empire, it was taken over by the Karamanoğulları. Among these, it was expanded in the 14th century. An inscription on the north side states Karamanoğlu Alâeddinoğlu Mehmedoğlu Sultan İbrahim as the builder and the construction date as the tenth month of the Islamic lunar year 854 (November/December 1450). The Ottomans later took over the building, which they expanded again in the 19th century and used until the end of their empire.



The castle complex measures around 240 m from west to east and 170 m from north to south. It is surrounded in the east and north by a moat connected to the sea. The main gate is on the east side next to the main tower, another gate is on the northwest side, where the building inscription is also located. The interior is divided into three courtyards by walls. The mighty outer walls include 36 partly round, partly square towers; the main tower in the east has a dodecagonal floor plan. The two-story walls are equipped with battlements and arrow slits and can be accessed via a branching system of stairs and corridors. In the castle courtyards there are stables, living rooms, bathhouses, storage rooms and a mosque, some of which are integrated into the walls. The latter was probably initially built by the Karamanoğulları; the current building has the classic elements of Ottoman architecture from the 16th century.