Şeytan Castle is an old castle located in Yıldırımtepe village of Çıldır district of Ardahan province. This fortress in the historical Erusheti region is referred to as “Kacistsihe” (Devil's Castle) in Georgian sources and it is believed that the name of the castle was translated from Georgian after the Ottomans took over the region.
There are opinions that the famous "Georgian poet" Shota Rustaveli wrote in the epic titled Tiger Post Man, written in the 12th century, that "Kacta Tsihe" is not the Alamut Castle but the Devil Castle.
Şeytan Castle is located on a rocky hill on the right bank of a stream, 1,3 km north of the center of Yıldırımtepe village, formerly known as Rabat. It is possible to reach this hill, which has a cliff on three sides, from only one direction. It is believed to be called Şeytan Castle due to its difficult access and capture due to this location. However, as the fortress could not be captured, the invincibility of the fortress was associated with evil spirits and the devil, as well as a legend among the public.
The castle, which is 1910 meters above sea level, has reached the present day quite solidly. The castle has an unsymmetrical plan and its dimensions are 161 × 93 meters and the castle has three towers. One of them has survived to the present day.
Today, the Devil's Castle, which is illuminated at night, is reached by a paved vehicle right up to the viewing hill, and after this point, it is reached by a pathway.
There are suggestions that the Devil's Castle was built during the Urartu period. However, these views are not based on any historical sources. According to the information given by later sources, it is understood that the castle should have been an early medieval castle. However, due to its location, it is very likely that such a place was a fortress in earlier dates. However, resources to prove this are not yet available.
According to the case of Meshuri Matiane, which describes the Georgian principality Samtshe-Saatabago and the history of neighboring states between 1561-1587, the ruler of Satan Castle Samtshe-Saatabago II. While under the leadership of Manuçar, Manuçar agreed with Lala Mustafa Pasha and gave six castles, including the Devil's Castle, to the Ottomans. The Devil's Castle was used during the Ottoman period from the 16th century as well as the Georgian Kingdom and Samtshe-Saatabago periods. It is known that there is a commercial area near the castle. This place, known as Rabat, later turned into ordinary settlement.
Structures in the castle
The Devil's Castle has a single nave church built in the 14th century. Only four walls remain from this church, which is at the bottom of the castle and dedicated to St. Stefan. In the castle, the remains of the stair steps descending to the cistern and the stream have survived to the present day.