Zilkale Castle: The Greatest Castle in Turkey’s Rize Province
Zilkale Castle (Zil Kale or Zil Castle) is Turkey’s one of the most magnificent castles. The castle welcomes thousands of visitors every year. With its altitude of 750 m, the castle offers a magical view to its visitors. So, you must add it to your “to-do list” in Turkey.
Before We Begin: Zil Kale, Zil Castle, or Zilkale Castle?
Don’t worry! They are all correct to refer to the castle. Yet, there are some slight nuances. But before elaborating the differences, we should also remark that people also name the castle as “Zir Kale”. We will also explain it…
Zil Kale: Zil means “bell” and kale means “castle” in Turkish. So, means “Bell Castle”.
Zir Kale: Zir means “lower” in Persian and kale means “castle” in Turkish. So, Zirkale means “Lower Castle”.
Characteristics of Zilkale Castle
First of all, Zilkale is a medieval castle. The castle takes place in the Firtina Valley (literally “storm valley”) within the North Anatolian Mountains. Most importantly, even though the castle is not one of the most popular ones, it is, however, one of the most important historical structures in Rize province. It is the pearl of Turkey and situated within the Black Sea region of the country. Zilkale Castle is the most mysterious and romantic castle in Turkey. It is probably because forests and waterfalls surround Zilkale. Moreover, the castle sits at the top of a wild valley.
The Great Location of the Castle
The castle was built at an altitude of 750 m and sits at the edge of a cliff overlooking the Fırtına Valley. Researchers believe that the castle was built between the 14th and 15th centuries. Zilkale consists of the outer walls, the middle walls, and the inner castle. It is only possible to reach the gate of the outer castle through a pathway in the northwest direction. There are three important buildings in the middle castle. These are garrison quarters, and a possible chapel and head tower. There are arched windows on the east side of the tower walls, and loopholes on the other sides.
Zil Castle is under protection because it is a 1st-degree archaeological conservation site. The historical Zilkale attracts the attention of tourists and nature lovers with its wonderful beauty and magnificent surroundings. Therefore, Zilkale Castle is an impeccable spot to visit in Turkey.
History of Zilkale Castle
As we pointed out before, the castle is a perfect place to travel in Turkey. So, researchers believe that the building of the castle dates back to the 14th and 15th centuries. The castle has outer walls, middle walls, and the inner castle. Furthermore, there are also garrison quarters, and a possible chapel and head tower. According to Anthony Bryer (1937-2016), a British historian, the castle is actually an Armenian chapel. It was built by the Empire of Trebizond for the local Lord of Hamshenis.
According to some other assumptions, Zilkale was built by emperors of the Komnenos dynasty who lived in the region in the 13th century. Genoeses, Greeks, and Ottomans used the castle, as well as the dynasty until the end of the 1800s. In terms of its situation on the route of the historical Silk Road, Zilkale is a peerless castle with its unique location.
What to do While You are Here?
Zilkale is the most tremendous castle in Rize province with its unique view and historical background. It is also on the list of Turkey’s 13 most magnificent castles. So, the cattle is attracting attention with its scenery. No need to mention that the castle welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors especially during the summer season.
So, here are the best things to do around the castle while you are there;
- Zilkale is very close to the plateaus in Camlihemsin. You can see the impressive Firtina River and the green plateaus from the castle.
- During your visit to Zilkale, you can also stop by Palovit Waterfall. Located 6 km away from the castle, the waterfall is as enchanting as the castle of Zilkale.
- You should definitely visit Ayder Plateau, which is 30 km away from Zilkale. The road is quite hard to drive. Therefore, the journey to the plateau takes almost 45 minutes.
- Çat and Elevit Plateaus are also must-see places when you visit Zilkale Castle.
What is the Best Time to Visit Zilkale Castle?
The best time to visit the castle is definitely the summer season. Because of the geographical features of the region, the place and the surrounding may be very cold even in Spring. Moreover, it is even cool in summer. So, you should consider having some pullover sweatshirts or cardigans alike.
The Big Question: What to Eat?
If you get hungry during your visit to Zilkale Castle, you can prefer the restaurant around it. The restaurant has an amazing panorama that sees the landscape and around from an altitude of 750 m. What’s more, it also has the wonderful view of Fırtına Deresi (Fırtına Stream).
So, what you can find there to eat are grill types, appetizers, traditional ice-creams, and a wide variety of beverages. However, in Çamlıhemşin province, it is possible to find much more alternatives and local flavors of the Black Sea Region of Turkey.
Bölgenin en önemli besin maddeleri balık , mısır ve fasulyedir . Yani bu 3 ana besinin farklı türlerine orada rastlayacaksınız. Her şeyden önce bölgenin en leziz yöresel lezzeti olan mıhlamayı denemeden yaşadığınız yere dönmemenizi şiddetle tavsiye ederiz .
Zilkale Kalesi Giriş Ücreti
Kaleye giriş ücreti 4 Türk Lirası (40 sent). Ayrıca 18 yaş altı ve 65 yaş üstü ziyaretçilere giriş ücretsizdir. Bu arada Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı’na bağlı olmayan, büyüleyici güzellikteki binada Müzekart (Müze Kart) geçerli değil.
Zilkale Kalesi’ne Nasıl Gidilir?
Son olarak kaleye nasıl gidilir sorusu da cevaplanması gereken bir diğer popüler sorudur. Dolayısıyla kaleye ulaşmak için toplu taşıma bir seçenek olmadığından kişisel araç kullanmanız gerekmektedir.
Arabayla: Zil Kale’ye gitmek için kişisel aracınızı kullanacaksanız öncelikle Rize il merkezini geçmeniz gerekiyor. Çayeli ve Pazar ilçesini geçtikten sonra yaklaşık 8 kilometre devam edebilirsiniz. Ardeşen’e gelmeden önce Çamlıhemşin sapağından geçerek yaklaşık 20 kilometre devam edebilirsiniz. Ayder’e dönmeden önce Çamlıhemşin’den Mollaveyis’e kadar gidebilirsiniz. Biraz daha devam ettiğinizde kaleye giden patikaya ulaşacaksınız.
Kaynak ALINTI: ALLMAGAZINE.DIYAR21.COM