Maiden’s Castle – Mersin

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Maiden’s Castle, also known as the Sea Castle, was built on a small islet on the coast of the neighborhood, which it gave its name to. Its distance to the shore is about 600 meters. It was learned from an inscription found here that it was built by Leon I in 1199.

Maiden's Castle - Mersin

Maiden’s Castle – Mersin

It was conquered by the Kingdom of Cyprus in 1361. Strabo mentions that pirates used the castle as a shelter during the Roman Period. The castle was as important as the castle on land by Byzantium and Armenians. The entrance to the castle is in the north.

Maiden's Castle

Maiden’s Castle

Spolia material is used here. Again, the places where rubble stones are used from time to time should probably belong to the Lusignan Period. Eight bastions in triangular, rectangular and round shapes were placed on the 192 meters long fortress wall with battlements. There is a well-preserved gallery along the west wall and a door opening to the sea from here.

Maiden's Castle

Maiden’s Castle

During the cleaning excavation carried out by the Mersin Archeology Museum, a building complex was unearthed in the middle of the castle. There is a chapel in this building complex. It is understood that this chapel, which has a common plan with the building complex, is older than the other chapel in the courtyard of the castle. In addition to the mosaics on the floor, opus sectile flooring was also applied.

Mersin Archeology Museum

Mersin Archeology Museum

The rooms around it open to the hall in the middle space, and the floors of the square planned rooms rise towards the north. There is a five-line inscription in a circular braid on the floor mosaic and another inscription on the portico in the western corner of the area. There are also cisterns and workshops in the castle courtyard.

The legend of Maiden Castle

Kızkalesi also has a legend that is told for different places. “Once upon a time there was a king. He consulted a fortune teller to find out the future of his only daughter, whom he loved very much. When he learned that his daughter would die by being bitten by a snake, he had this castle built for the princess. Thus, the king, who thought that he had secured his life, sent a basket of grapes to his daughter one day. However, the snake hidden in the basket killed the girl by biting.” A similar expression is used for the Maiden’s Tower in Istanbul.

How to get to Maiden’s Castle?

Kızkalesi, which is located in Kızkalesi Town 60 kilometers southwest of Mersin, can be reached by urban transportation vehicles.

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