Guide Yilan Kalesi (French Edition)

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Domaine Chandon. Brut Napa. Mad Crush. Rhys Family Farm. Small Vines. Domaine Drouhin. Round Pond "Kith n Kin". Silver Oak. Permanent Holiday. Oaxacan Kiss. Calico Jack. Matcha Love. Spring Gibson. Only the spectacular mosaics in the museum and the grid layout of its downtown streets betray the city's Hellenistic and Roman past. Gone too from the immediate vicinity of the city are the medieval walls.

But there is ample evidence of the fortifications that made the medieval city so redoubtable. The walls were Byzantine, rebuilt by Justinian the Great following a great earthquake in A. Most of the remaining ones are to be found by climbing the steep slopes of Mount Silpius, which rises over a thousand feet above the city. The trek, about five miles, takes several hours on foot, but is well worth it for the refreshingly cool air and the view from the citadel at the top.

A rough road also leads to the summit.

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After reaching it, one can slake one's thirst at a cafe and absorb the magnificent view. Following the walls as they snake down toward the valley of the Orontes, one can trace the outline of the medieval city. Visitors may also clamber around the walls of the citadel and the massive Iron Gate, the postern from which Yaghi-Siyan, the Turkish ruler of Antioch, attempted to escape the final Crusader onslaught in Descending from Silpius, a quiet evening meal can be had in downtown Antioch, followed, in warm weather, by a stroll along tree-lined streets by the Orontes River with the rest of the populace.

The best punctuation for the evening's entertainment is a seat at a local pastry shop and a helping of baklava made with local pistachios, the most savory this side of Iran. Several castles guarded the approaches to Crusader Antioch and can be visited by renting a car and driver in the town.

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The most impressive is Baghras, whose looming form dominates a valley in the Amanus mountains to the north. The town of Silifke, ancient Seleucia Ciliciae, is picturesquely situated in a crook between the flat green of the Cilician plain and spurs of the Taurus mountains, near Turkey's Mediterranean coast. Through Silifke flows the Goksu River, remarkable for the milky blue-green of its water. The 13th-century Knights Hospitalers assisted in the defense of the Kingdom of Cilician Armenia, an ally of the Crusader states, by garrisoning the castle here.

Sitting on a rocky promontory dominating the town, the castle is easily accessible by car or on foot, and a tourist restaurant sits in a portion of the moat, facing south toward the view. The walls, built of ashlar masonry attached to a now exposed rubble core, define a large oval enclosure at the top of the hill. From the outside, one can navigate its stout perimeter wall, studded with large round towers standing on solid rock. Little remains of the once extensive interior constructions of Silifke Castle, although an occasional cistern or a tumbled vault can be discerned.

Mainly constructed by the Hospitalers and restored in recent years, the castle retains the aura of a ruin, ripe for ruminations on the once absolute dominion held by its masters over the town huddled below.

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Modern Silifke is a run-of-the-mill market town of about 50, In addition to the castle, it has a small museum and the ruins of a Roman Temple of Jupiter. Mainly, it is a transportation hub and market town, with frequent buses to Konya in central Anatolia, Mersin some 50 miles away and Adana about miles. The castle-minded traveler can use Adana or Mersin as bases for exploring the castles of the Kingdom of Armenian Cilicia, which perch atop surrounding crags. Anazarbus, Lampron, Sis and Yilan Kalesi are all sites of wondrous and well-preserved works of medieval masons. Kiz Kalesi. In addition, about 15 miles south of Silifke, lie the ruins of the classical and medieval city of Korykos, with its island castle clearly visible from the main road.

Kiz Kalesi Turkish for Maiden's Castle occupies an entire small rocky island some yards offshore. A companion castle along the sea's edge on the mainland was once linked to Kiz Kalesi by a now-eroded breakwater. Adventurous visitors can swim out to the castle; others can get there by renting a rowboat. The tumbled masonry and overgrown buildings on both sides of the coastal road near the site remain from the classical city of Korykos. Its fine cut ashlar stones were reused by the Byzantines, who built both castles in the early 12th century to guard against Crusader expansion from Antioch.

Crusader forces do seem to have gained control of Korykos by the midth century, but the island castle visible today is generally of Byzantine design and execution.


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The land castle, notable for its double trace, is in ruins, but one gateway incorporating a classical triumphal arch still stands. Inside the castle walls one can see the outlines of three small stone chapels through the shrubbery. One can eat agreeably while castle-hopping.