Alanya Castle is a magnificent Seljuk ruin which sits atop a 250-metre high peninsular overlooking the Mediterranean sea. With walls stretching over 6km, Alanya Castle – sometimes called Alanya Fortress – encloses a number of fascinating sites and structures which are well worth exploring today.
The origins of the city today known as Alanya date back thousands of years. References to the ancient city of Coracesium, the name for the early settlement, can be found from the 4th Century BC. During much of antiquity, Alanya notoriously sheltered pirates thanks to its perfectly designed bay and harbour. However, during Pompey the Great’s famous campaign to rid the Mediterranean of pirates, Alanya was the site of an important battle in which the pirates were defeated. For the remainder of the Empire period, the city remained under Roman and subsequently Byzantine control but it was not one of the region’s more prominent settlements during this time.
That Alanya Castle is currently on the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list is testament to its diverse and sprawling history. With over 6km of defensive wall reinforced by 140 bastions and 400 cisterns, Alanya was perhaps one of the best-defended cities in the Mediterranean.