Where is Kızkalesi? History and Story

kizkalesi where history and story
Photo: wikipedia

Kızkalesi, which is the important tourism center of Erdemli, is 23 km from Erdemli and 60 km from Mersin. Its historical name is Korykos. While it was a village until 1992, it became a town and became a municipality within the same year.

Kızkalesi is an important settlement area under the control of Selevkos, Romans, Byzantines, Seljuks, Armenians, French (Kingdom of Cyprus), Karamanli and Ottomans in history. During the first excavations, the first settlement here was BC. It shows that it belongs to the 4th century. The famous historian Herodot writes that this city was founded by a Cypriot prince named Georges. Kızkalesi, which came under the rule of Rome in 72 BC, remained under the Roman rule for 450 years. During this period, it showed a great development in olive cultivation and became an olive oil export center. During the Byzantine period, its surroundings were surrounded by walls against Arab attacks. Later, this place fell into the hands of the Seljuks and the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. Kızkalesi, which was an important trade port that the Armenians sold to the Kingdom of Cyprus due to the increasing Karamanoğlu attacks in the 14th century, was captured and reconstructed by Karamanoğlu İbrahim Bey in 1448. Kızkalesi, which was conquered by the Ottomans in 1471, started to lose its importance in this period. Cem Sultan stayed here for a while before boarding the ship sent by the Knights of Rhodes in 1482.

Historical building The castles, churches, cisterns, aqueducts, rock tombs, sarcophagi, stone-paved roads can be found in the ruins of the Kizkalesi, which takes its name from the Kiz Castle. The castle, built on a small islet 500 meters from the shore shore castle, is called Kızkalesi. Restored in recent years, Kızkalesi has been preserved with eight towers. The outer circumference of the castle is 192 meters.

There are 4-5 churches dating from ancient times in Kızkalesi. Besides the water wells and cisterns, the water brought from the Lemas Stream with aqueducts meets Kızkalesi's water needs. On the stone-paved Sacred Way leading to the great church, it amazes those who see large and small sarcophagi lined up along the way.

There are human reliefs called Adamkayalar, carved on the rising rocky slope of the valley, 10 km north of Kızkalesi. In the figures in the reliefs, which symbolize the rulers and nobles of the period, some of them have a bunch of grapes and some of them lying on the sofa. Adamkayalar, consisting of a total of 13 paintings from the Roman period, is in a place overlooking Şeytanderesi.


Mediterranean climate prevails in Kızkalesi. The nomads living in Konar-nomadic life (especially the Sarıkeçili nomads) spend the winter season in and around the town. Tomato, cucumber, bean, lettuce, spinach, apricot and citrus are the primary products grown in agriculture. Vegetable farming is more developed than greenhouses. Yörükler, who climbs up to the plateaus, is also engaged in vegetable growing in the highlands.

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