The castle has a citadel of 6.5 km length, 140 towers, about 400 cisterns.
Doors with inscriptions and as an open air museum reflects Seljukian art at its best, The castle was built by A. Keykubat, the Sultan of Seljukians. The ramparts start from Kizilkule (Red Tower), extend down from Ehmedek, Ickale, Adam Atacagi, Cilvarda Burnu, Arap Evliyasi Rampart and Esat Rampart and pass through Tophane and Tersane and end at Kizilkule at the starting point. The first construction of the castle dates to the Hellenistic Period, but in fact the construction took its fascinating and monumental form during the Seljukian Empire. The altitude of the part called “the Inner Castle” and located at the highest place of western corner of the peninsula is about 250 meters. It was surrounded by walls from four sides as it was the centre of administrative and military organisations. Two Seljukian period cisterns, made of bricks are located in the middle part of the inner castle and are still in good condition at present. Main buildings in the inner castle were constructed so as to lean on the castle walls, except for the western part. Sultan Keykubat had his palace built here…
The settlement in the castle continues also today. In front of wooden and stone made houses, silk and cotton are woven, different figured calabash trees are coloured, authentic food is served in little gardens. And restaurants and cafes are located on the sea side on the way to the castle. The castle road is open to vehicle traffic. You can also walk to it in about an hour.
KIZILKULE ( The Red Tower)
Located on the seaport,this grand building, erected in 1226 for military and dockyard control purposes, is one of unique monuments of the Seljukians, and is the symbol of Alanya with its octagonal figure.
In 1226, The Sultan of the Seljukians, Alaaddin Keykubat, ordered the builder of the Sinop Castle craftsman Ebu Ali Reha el Kettani from Halep to build the tower. It was very difficult to carry the stone blocks to the top of the tower during construction, therefore the top was built of red bricks and accordingly was named Red Tower.
Some walls of tower was made of ancient marble. The tower has octagonal planned towers of each 12.5 mt wide 33 mt high and a diameter of 29 m. It has 5 floors including the ground floor. The top can be reached by big stone stairs.The sunlight reaches from the top down to the first floor. There is a cistern in the middle of the tower. The tower was built against the attacks to the harbour and the dockyard and was used centuries for martial targets.
After the repairs between 1951 and 1953, the first floor of the building functions as ethnographical museum.
It began to be built in 1227 and finished in one year, near Kizilkule (red tower) six years later the Seljukian Sultan A. Keykubad conquered the city.
The sea side of the dockyard with five arch parts has a lenght of 56.5 mt and is 44 mt deep. The dockyard is located on the most sunny place to take advantage of sunlight. The tablet in the entry of the dockyard carries the emblem of A. Keykubat and it is enriched with rosettes. Alanya’s dockyard is the first dockyard of the Seljukians on the Mediterranean Sea. Keykubat, who ordered to build the Sinop Dockyard, is named later as the “Sultan of the two seas.” In one part of the dockyard there is the small mosque, on the other side the room of the guards. In one of the archs there is dry well.
Entrance is free to the dockyard which can be reached from the sea with boats or by walk.
THE GUN HOUSE
There’s a gun house next to the dockyard. It was built with the aim of defence on a rock ten meters above the sea level.
It’s also known that cannons for battleships were made in the three-storey and rectangular building made of stone blocks and constructed in 1277.
There have been some efforts made by the Ministry of Culture and The Municipality of Alanya to make the Dockyard and the Gun House naval museums.
It was rebuilt and began to be known as the “middle castle” during the Seljukian Era, replacing the little one on the northern Side of the citadel left by the Byzantine Empire.
It’s clear from the inscription on its front door that it was built in 1227. It’s thought to have been named after the master builder “Ehmedek” of the Seljukian Era. The middle castle, consisting of two parts with three towers, is located on a strategically important place and at the same time it can protect the inner one where the Sultan’s palace is. The walls of the towers we can see today were built during the Byzantine Era, by carving the rocks. The three cisterns in the middle castle are still used today. There are pictures of ships on the walls dating back to Seljukian period.
It’s in the citadel, near The Süleymaniye Mosque. It’s thought to have been built in the 14th or the 15th century during the Karamanogullari period as a bazaar or an inn.
It’s a rectangular building made of stone blocks. It has 26 rooms and a courtyard that is 35 metres long and 13 metres wide. Today, this historical building is used as a hotel, a restaurant and a cafe. The shops of the medieval times, overlooking the courtyard are now redesigned as hotel rooms. There’s a big cistern at the end of the stairs in the garden. The garden overlooks the above walls on one side, and the Taurus Mountains, the Mediterranean and the beach on the other side. Bedesten can be visited with the permission of the person who runs it.
THE MINTING HOUSE
They are the buildings on Cilvarda Bay that has cliffs, nearly 400 meters long and they are at the end of the peninsula.
Although known as “the Minting House” in public, those buildings made of stone blocks have never been used for issuing money. One of the stone buildings of the 11th century is a little church and the others were possibly used as monasteries. The dome of the little church has remained standing. There’s a cistern on the rocks. Although there’s a passage of steps carved in the rocks from Ickale to Cilvarda Bay, it can’t be used today. As for sea transport it is difficult and dangerous. It looks magnificent both when looked from Ickale and while turning the bend of the bay by boat.
It’s a building from the 13th Century, 13 km to the west of Alanya on the highway.
The caravanserai was built by Giyaseddin Keyhusrev the Sultan of Seljukins between the years 1236-1246 on the historical Silk Way. The building which was built on a piece of land about 1000 square metres has walls built of bulky cut stones. The caravanserai which was one of the most important accommodation point of the the middle ages is to be used as amusement centre today.
THE CITADEL OF ALARA
The Citadel of Alara was built in 1232, 37 kilometres westward from Alanya on the demand of Alaaddin Keykubat, the Sultan of Seljukians and it is 9 kilometres far from the sea.
The aim of the citadel that was on the Silk Road was to protect the crowds stopped at the inn near the Alara creek. It’s built on a steep hill of 200 meters up to 500. It looks magnificent. It consists of an inner and outer part. A dark entrance-hall of 120 steps enters the citadel. It is important to be careful about the wild plants and ruins, since it is not organized as a place to be visited. There are tunnels made by carving rock in the citadel. There is a small palace, the rooms of the workers, a mosque and a Turkish bath in the ruins. Those who would like to go to the top of the citadel through the walls and paths have to climb at least one hour and be equipped properly. However, the view from the top is worth climbing.
It’s located on a tableland 800m far away the Citadel of Alara on the Alara Stream.
Whole caravanserai has been built of cut bulky stones on a piece of land of 2 thousand square metres. The inn, built in 1231, was restored a few years ago and is used as restaurant and shop centre. The warders hut keeps its characteristics today. The second door of the caravanserai opens out to the guest rooms. There are small rooms next two sides of the long hall. There is a fountain, a small mosque and a bathhouse in the caravanserai. The signatures of the stone craftsmen who searched out during the reparation are very conspicuous. Keykubat said in the epigraphs in Alanya he was,” the sultan of the land and the two seas, the owner of the Arabic and Persian countries” and in the epigraphs in Alara Inn he got the titles,”The conqueror of Greek, Damascus, Armenian and European countries.” You have to pay to vsit the inn. You can have your meal in the restaurant in the Inn as well as in the small eating houses on countryside and you can swim till mealtime.
It is in the western part of Alanya, the north of the Kargi Creek. We have no idea of the year when it was built since it has no inscription.
It is a stone building 46 meters wide and 50 meters long. It’s thought to have been used as a caravanserai in Kesikbel, on the road that played a role of a bridge between the Mediterranean and central Anatolia in Roman times, Seljukian and Ottoman Era. There are air shafts on the ceiling of each room and the rooms are found around the courtyard in the middle. There are mangers for animals carved on the rock opposite the door. The building is in ruins.
There are four museums in Alanya. These are the Museum of Archaeology, Ethnography Museum of Ickale and Museum of Atatürk’s House. All of the museums are under control of the Head Office of Museums in Alanya and you have to pay for a visit. They are all open to visitors during the week except for lunch breaks. The most important work in Alanya is the statue of Heracleus exhibited in the museum of Archaeology. Kizilkule in the harbour is designed as the museum of Ethnography. Ickale, built as the palace of the Sultan Alaaddin during the reconstruction of the city in the 13th century, is now a museum and open to visitors.
MUSEUM OF ARCHEOLOGY
The Museum of Archaeology in Alanya opened in 1967, on the arrival of articles of Bronze Age, and those belonged to Urartu, Frig and Lidya from the Museum of Anatolian Civilization in Ankara.
The museum has been enriched with the work found in the excavations that have been carried out recently. The museum has a part of archeology and a part of ethnography. The oldest article found near Alanya and exhibited in the archaeology clivision of the museum is a stone inscription written in phoenician language and it dates back to 625 BC. The statue of Heracleus, made of bronze and dating back to 2nd century BC is exhibited in another part. There are vast collections of ash boxes and coins in the Museum of Archaeology in Alanya, along with the things found and belonging to the archaic, classical and Byzantine era, the Hellen period and these are made of bronze, marble, fired soil, glass and mosaic. Furthermore, the museum has works of Turkish-Islamic world of Seljukians and Ottomans. In the division of ethnography there are things like carpets of Turkoman nomadic tribes, colourful sacks, saddle-bags, clothes, samples of ornaments, guns, household goods for daily use, accessories, manuscripts and writing sets that have been collected from the surrounding areas and reflecting the folkloric character of the region and a room of a old Alanya house are all exhibited. There are also stone works of Romans, Byzantine and Islamic periods in the garden of the museum. You have to pay for a visit to the museum which is open during the whole week.
MUSEUM OF ETHNOGRAPHY
Kizilkule, which is in the harbour and is a work of Seljukians of the 13th century, is at the same time the museum of ethnography.
The ground floor and the first floor of the five-storey tower have been designed as museums. In the museum there are carpets, rugs, clothes, household goods, guns, scales, devices of illumination, and looms peculiar to Alanya and ethnographic works like the tent representing the Turkoman nomadic tribe culture in the Taurus Mountains. Sometimes that historical building welcomes cultural or art activities such as exhibitions of painting or classical music concerts. You can catch a view of the panoramic landscape of the eastern part of the city and the way of settlement on the historical peninsula at the top floor of the tower. Moreover, you can go to the walls from the tower and walk feeling history. You have to pay for a visit to Red Tower.
MUSEUM OF ICKALE
It is in the historical citadel, at the peak of the peninsula lying towards the Mediterranean. The palace of Alaaddin Keykubat, the Sultan of Seljukians was found as the result of the excavations carried out for years.
Some excavations are still in progress. There’s a little church of Byzantine Period, just opposite the ruins of the palace in Ickale. The church known as the church of Aya Yorgi or of Hagios Georgios is thought to have been built in the 6th century. It is like a clover in shape and the only building that does not belong to Selcuks Period in Ickale, and it can be seen today as a proof of their tolerance for different religions. There are traces of frescos, however rare, on the inner walls of the church. From the part called Seyirlik in Ickale you can see the Taurus Mountains above and the western wing of Alanya below. The cistern on a cliff in Ickale is known as Adam Atacagi. According to a legend, those who were sentenced to death were allowed to throw there pebbles to the sea, otherwise they would be put in a big sack and thrown downwards. The cistern of 15 metres in depth is said to have been a dungeon. Exhibitions of painting take place in one of the halls in Ickale. You have to pay for a visit to Ickale.
MUSEUM OF ATATÜRK’S HOUSE
This is the house where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of Turkish Republic stayed for a while when he visited Alanya on 18 February 1935.
The owner of the house, Mr. Ryfat Azakoğlu left it to Ministry of Culture to be preserved as a museum. The three-storey building situated in a garden reflects the 19th century Turkish architecture. In the ground floor, Atatürk’s personal belongings, photographs, the telegram that Atatürk sent to people of Alanya and some other historical documents are exhibited. The rooms upstairs are decorated with some traditional furniture.