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Photo album of Mamure Castle - Mamure Kalesi at Anamur Turkey

At the most southern point of Turkey's Mediterranean coast lies Anamur. Anamur town itself is of virtually no interest for the traveler. However, Anamur Iskele, the harbour district is the ideal basis to visit the medieval Mamure Castle and explore the Byzantine ghost town of Anamurium sometimes also referred to as Anemurium.

A couple of kilometres east of Iskele stands Mamure Kalesi, an impressive castle built by the rulers of the Cilician kingdom of Armenia on the side of an older Roman fort constructed in the 3rd century AD. After the decline of the Cilician kingdom, the fort was used by the Byzantines. The present castle was built in 1226 by the great Seljuk Sultan Alaeddin Keykubat I (Aladdin's Castle?) and is without doubt the most impressive of the castles of Turkey. The Karamanoğlu ruler Mahmut Bey added the mosque that is still inside the castle. In the 14th century, Mamure Kalesi became occupied by the Crusaders who used it as a bridgehead in Asia for their Lusignan kingdom in Cyprus. In 1469 Anamur Castle was seized by the Ottomans who who reinforced the castle after the British occupied Cyprus in 1878. It remained garrisoned by the Ottomans until the end of World War I. The impressive Mamure Castle with its stark facade of crenellated outer walls and watchtowers stands romantically with one foot in the sea. The castle was a favorite setting for many Turkish films. Inside the castle there are further defenses and an ancient mosque which was added by Mahmut Bey a Karamanoğlu Ruler.

The best place to stay in Anamur is at İskele (which means quay in Turkish), an unpretentious resort with a nice beach. At our tour along Turkey's mediterranean coast in 2004, we found Hotel Anemonia (Tel. +90-(0) 324-814 40 00, single about 17 EURO with breakfast and air-con) very convenient with a very friendly service. It is a bit outside of the center of Iskele, at the end of the İnönü Caddesi, but the distance is only a short and healthy walk. Lonely Planet mentions that the rooms have TV's that can pick up English language stations in Cyprus. I desperately looked for a TV set in my room, but wasn't able to find it.

For dinner, restaurant Kap Anamur at the central square serves excellent fish at reasonable prices and is the best restaurant in town and, in our experience, maybe one of the best along Turkey's Mediterranean coast.

Here are the photos of Anamur and Mamure Castle, click on the thumbnails to see greater pictures. Photos of Anamurium are on a separate page.

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