Guvercinada of Kusadasi
Guvercinada means the island with pigeons. Kusadasi town also refers to the island of birds. Many ancient times, many travelers mention birds nesting on the little island across Kusadasi town beside the immigrant birds of the fall and the spring. In 2020, Unesco Heritage Sites added the castle on the Guvercinada across Kusadasi town, under Castles and walled Settlements on the Genoese Trade Road from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea.
The Genoese sailors first constructed the castle on the Guvercinada. They are known as the sailing businessman of the Mediterranean, Aegean, and the Black Sea. While growing their sea trade network, they built hundreds of castles on three seas islands and colonized many towns and territories surrounding those waters. When the Ottomans took over the region, they have enlarged the court on top of it to increase Kusadasi town's port safety. The inner court and the arsenal on the island were built by the great Ottoman Admiral Hayreddin Barbarossa in 1533.
The tower of the castle on the center of the island is approximately 255 square meters. This citadel rises on the basis that it was used as a cistern. The top of the fortress used to have channels of water to collect rainwater at the bottom. The tracks were lost during the many restorations of the structure. The walls of the castle are 3 meters high. The entrance of the court is on the southern side, secured by two towers. Centaurea Mykalea is an endemic plant to Kusadasi town, and it is under protection. You can see this beautiful yellow flower during your visit to the castle.
In 1613, Silahdar Mehmet Pasha married Sultan Ahmed’s daughter Sultan Gevherhan. As a wedding gift, Kusadasi region was given to the Pasha, and he became the Grand Vizier of Sultan Ahmed. After receiving his generous donation from his father-in-law, he restored the castle on the island. Mehmed Pasha is known as Mehmed Pasha, the Ox as his father was a blacksmith of oxen. He is also known as the slave breaker as he successfully suppressed the riot of the soldiers in Egypt during his governorship. After four years of service in Egypt, he started to serve in the office and received the ‘groom’ title after marrying Sultan Ahmed’s daughter.
The castle's outer walls were built in 1770 during the Greek Orlov Revolt, which encouraged the Greeks for independence. The last restoration and enforcement made on the court were in 1826 during the 'Greek War of Independence.' A bridge was added in 1957 for easier access, and the castle became a tourist attraction. Guvercinada castle was under restoration from 2013 to 2016 and hosting tourists since its last opening.
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