Çesme Castle

The seashores in Western Anatolia were not safe in the 11th and 16th centuries when the seas were not under Turkish rule. Areas that were vulnerable to sudden attacks by the pirates in the Aegean were never occupied, especially since they lacked a stronghold. For this reason, known cities and towns were located within a certain distance from the coast. Just like Urla, Seferihisar and Sığacık, Çeşme was within an hour’s walking distance of three kilometres from the coast.

The fact that it was an essential active port to be attacked by the enemy and there was no defence facility in the harbour had included Çeşme in the areas struck by Venice. The Harbor of Cesme was attacked in 1472 by the Venetian Navy. The attack on the gate, which is an essential gate with Chios, was evidence that Çeşme was now one of the most important ports in Western Anatolia at that time. Even though no action was taken after this attack, the trade-in Çeşme was not affected.

In the period of the Second Bayezid, the war started with Venice in 1499, while the Ottoman Empire achieved significant successes on the Adriatic coast, while Venice attacked Çeşme a second time (1501).

An important trade gate, such as fountains, has frequently been attacked by the enemy. Finally, the construction of the castle began. The Ottoman Sultan II. Bayezıt, the Governor of Aydin, through Mir Haydar, the son of the architect of the son of Mehmet, was built between 1508 and 1509 completed.

Evliya Celebi told in his travelogues

Evliya Çelebi, who saw the castle in 1671, marked the map of Piri Reis at the beginning of the 16th century, described the famous work as follows:

“On the shore; the west side of the sea, the east side of the slope and mountain is the mountain … All of the houses within the castle by the west of Chios Island is covered with fifty pieces of land facing the sea. Dizdarı and 185 of them always sit in this. The castle is a rectangular, stone-built Hoşa-bad castle. This fortress is two hundred steps from the east to the west side and downhill from the Olub length is two hundred steps, and the width is one hundred and fifty steps. For this calculation, the castle is seven hundred steps. Three sides of the castle have deep trenches. However, the west side of the sea to reach the trench was likely possible. There is a solid iron door that opens to the suburban side facing the Qiblah (south). On the ditch is the bridge that is crossed with a suspension bridge over the zenberekli. This is two sides of the cup side. There is an iron gate facing the west of the inner fortress. There is another iron door inside this door. The inner fortress would thus have two floors. On top of these two gates, Sultan Bayezid II has an upper floor mosque. Bu

The description of Evliya Çelebi reflects the truth. Dr. İ.Aydın Yüksel found the castle in 127 x 82 – 86 meters dimensions. The shorter direction is shorter. Two round towers, which Evliya Çelebi mentioned about being newly built, constitute the lowest part of the castle. The inner fortress has two main sections, and the second compartment was probably the site of residence. The first field is the military part.

From the castle to the museum

The castle was built as a submarine, but because it is filled with the sea in time, the castle is located right in front of it. The entrance door, which is located on the southern front of the castle, has all the features of Ottoman architecture. In addition to this door, there are two more doors to the inner castle. The castle, which had been eroded and repaired during the Ottoman-Russian War of 1770, and had no military character after the Crimean War, is now home to the Çeşme Archeology Museum.

The museum, for the first time in 1965 with the guns brought from Istanbul Topkapi Museum; was opened to visit as a gun museum. Serving in this way until 1984, the museum’s weapons, due to excessive moisture in the hall began to deteriorate due to oxidation, Izmir Archeology Museum and the Ödemiş Museum was transferred. The same exhibition hall is being used to exhibit the artefacts obtained from the salvage excavations in the ancient city of Ildiri (Erythrai) which has been continuing since 1964. This section is made of terracotta god and goddess statues, busts, marble statues, silver and bronze coins, gold foil, amphoras such as works are exhibited.

In Barbaros Tower Exhibition Hall, it is mostly made of terracotta, belonging to Çeşme, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic Roman and Eastern Roman periods; archaeological objects such as pots, oil lamps and figurines are on display.

In the Ottoman-Russian War Exhibition Hall; maps of the sea battle, books about the war, posters, flags, medals, coins, swords such as swords and mannequin soldiers in the sunken Russian Flagship are exhibited. Apart from the castle, there are Ottoman cannons.

Erythrai, Çeşme district centre Alaçatı and Kalemburnu and the Gulf of Çeşme. 126 ethnographic works and 31 coins, a total of 477 works in the museum exhibited. It is the documents belonging to this event brought from the Russian Federation with the underwater archaeology work from the ships and galleys that sank during the Ottoman – Russian War on July 6, 1770, in Çeşme Bay.

The castle hosts the International Çeşme Music Competition and Çeşme Festival, bringing together music and history. When you come to Çeşme from the sea, one of the first buildings to be seen, Çeşme Castle is hidden in every corner of the castle. When you reach the top of the castle with a panoramic view of the town, the castle must be one of the first stops on the trip to Cesme.

It can be visited between 08.30-12.00 and 13.00-17.00 hours, 6 days a week except for Monday. The museum is 80 km from Adnan Menderes Airport, 72 km from Izmir, 7 km from Ilica and 10 kilometres from Alaçatı.

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