Erdemli – Mersin – Turkey

GPS : 36°27’46.5″N 34°08’57.4″E / 36.462916, 34.149288

Kızkalesi (English: Maiden’s castle) is a town in Mersin Province, Turkey. The town, known in Antiquity as Corycus or Korykos, is named after the ancient castle built on a small island just facing the town. Kızkalesi is a Mediterranean coastal town. Taurus mountains are at north of the town and in fact some quarters of the town are situated on the lower slopes of the mountain. The surrounding area is mostly covered by macquis groves.

Kızkalesi is a part of Erdemli district which in turn is a part of Mersin Province. Kızkalesi is west of Erdemli and Mersin. It is on the D 400 highway, the highway distances being 23 kilometres (14 mi) to Erdemli and 60 kilometres (37 mi) to Mersin.

The most important economic activities are agriculture and tourism. Tomatoes, cucumbers, apricots, beans, and citrus are the most cultivated crops.

Repairing & Maintenance Workshops : Erdemli
Technical Equipment Shops : Erdemli
Accommodation : Pensions, Hotels, Motels, Rental Houses, Picnic Areas
Beach : Kızkalesi, Akkum
Dining : Restaurants, Buffets, Cafes, Bakeries
Weekly Market
Health : Health Center – Hospital, Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacies, Dentists
Hair dresser
Shopping : Super Markets, Stores, Shops, Markets
Entertainment : Cafes, Bars, Tea Gardens
Special Shopping : Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Apricots, Beans, Citrus

Ancient Corycus was a large city. It became part of the Seleucid Empire, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the various Seljuk empires, the Kingdom of Cilicia, Beylik of Karaman, and finally the Ottoman Empire. In Turkish history, it is known as Prince Cem Sultan’s departing point from Turkey in 1482 after his defeat in an Ottoman civil war on his way to Rome. After Cem’s departure, Kızkalesi became the winter settlement of nomadic Turkmen tribes known as Ayaş. It was declared as a seat of township in 1992.

Corycus Castle is built on the relatively flat ground of the rocky shore and is characterized by the almost square shape of a tight double trace with square towers. This is the only fully concentric plan for a fortification in Cilicia. In the southern corner there is a sea gate and the north east side of the castle is protected by a deep ditch cut out of the rock.


GPS : 36° 27′ 24.50″N, 34° 8′ 52.49″E / 36.45680716, 34.14791450

Kızkalesi (Maiden’s Castle, also known as Deniz kalesi) is a castle situated on a small island in Mersin Province of Turkey. Maiden’s Castle – A castle built on a small island just offshore of Kızkalesi. Built during the time of the Crusades and frequently captured and repaired by invading armies, the castle is in excellent condition and offers great views of Kızkalesi.

The medieval name of the island was Crambusa. It is about 300 metres (980 ft) off shore in the Mediterranean Sea. The total area of the island is about 15,000 square metres (160,000 sq ft) and the castle covers most of this area. Kızkalesi, the town facing the island in the main land which shares the same name as the island.

According to Strabon, the island was used by the pirates in the ancient age. But the castle was probably built by Alexios I Komnenos of Byzantine Empire after the First Crusade. It was rebuilt or repaired during the reign of Leo I of Cilician Kingdom in 1199. The building material seems to be the stones of a former building. Probably there was an older building in place of Kızkalesi. In the 14th century the Cilician Kingdom was on the verge of collapse and in 1361 Peter I of Cyprus captured the island at the request of the inhabitants. The castle was captured by İbrahim II of Karaman in 1448 and by Gedik Ahmet Pasha of the Ottoman Empire in 1471.

The total length of the rampart is 192 metres (630 ft).The south and the west walls are perpendicular to each other. The north and east sides are surrounded by a curved rampart. The main gate is on the north side and there is a minor gate and a gallery on the west side. There are 8 bastions each with a unique shape.

Legend of Kızkalesi
According to the legend of Kızkalesi, a fortune teller informs the king that his beautiful daughter will be poisoned by a snake. He adds that even the king is unable to change the fate. Shocked by fortune teller’s words, the king tries to change the fate by building a castle in an island where no snakes live. He sends his daughter to live in the castle. But a snake hides in a grape basket sent from the main land and poisons the princess. This legend is not unique to Kızkalesi and some other localities in Turkey share the same story.

They are clean and have pleasant services. Fishes available due to seasons.


Minibus : Kızkalesi – Silifke, Erdemli
Bus : Kızkalesi – Silifke, Erdemli, Mersin, Adana
Train : Mersin – Adana, Osmaniye, Dörtyol, İskenderun, Islahiye, Elazığ, Kayseri, Ankara, Konya
Airport : Adana Şakirpaşa International Airport, Konya International Airport

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Erdemli/Mersin Province, Turkey

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