Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cimpe Kalesi - Part I Overview

On Wednesday we drove 16k to Cimpe Kalesi/Cimpe Castle.
Cimpe is a well preserved hill top fortification dating from the Byzantine era (before 1352)  Depending on which history you believe, the fortress was either granted to the Ottoman Turks by the Byzantine Emperor or taken at night by Suleyman Pasha (son of the Ottomon ruler Orhan I) and thirty-nine men. I enjoyed reading Wikipedia's version of events. The fortress has been recently whitewashed and the walls plastered or covered in concrete. It may have been used during World War I and II.
There is no admission charge and no interpretation of the site with the exception of this sign.

Before we got out of the car we warned the kids to be cautious. Like most sites that we've visited in Turkey, there are no fences, railings, or danger signs, but there are lots of hazards. We were particularly concerned about snakes considering the warm spring weather we've been enjoying, and the dark recesses we could see when we arrived.
Thankfully we didn't even see a snake! For a view inside see the Post Cimpe Kalesi - Part III Family Photos.
There are many little buildings, built into the hill top. Walking around this large site, we had the impression that we could see only a small portion of the fortress.  For a view inside see the post Cimpe Kalesi - Part III Family Photos.

Behind the little buildings a deep trench remains of what seems to be either a courtyard or perhaps a building which has lost it's roof.

The trench is overgrown in many places and the bottom is soggy from the winter's rainfall.

There are two arches built into the bank one at either end of this fortification. Both have wide double staircases leading to them.  Are they decorative; or were they bricked over to limit access to more underground passageways and rooms? We came away from this excursion with more questions than answers.

Book ends or mirror images. There's one of these structures on either end of the castle.

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