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MAIDEN’S CASTLE (KIZKALESI)

Coordinate: 36º27’25.19’’K 34º08’54.90’’D Height: 0 m

It is in Kızkalesi town connected to Erdemli district of Mersin, and 25 km east of Silifke. Town which also has a beautiful beach, gets its name from offshore the magnificent castle. Ancient city of Corycus reigned in this land, accepted the sovereignty of Rome in 72 B.C. It was a major port city in the Roman and Byzantine periods. Maiden’s Towers located on an island 200 meters from the shore was built in the 12th century to protect the city. The other castle in the shore is Corycus Castle, built in the same period as Maiden’s Castle.

There are two big natural caves mentioned as Heaven and Hell in 5 km west of Corycus. Heaven Graben was formed by collapse of ceiling as a result of erosion caused by an underground stream. In the southern end of the Graben which is 200 meters wide and 70 meters deep, entrance of the cave and a church are notable. Temple built in the 3rd or 2nd century B.C. was converted into a church in the 5th century A.D. .  In the inscription over the gate, it is written that the church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary by a religious person named Paulus in the 5th century A.D. .

Hell Graben located 75 meters north of the Heaven Graben, was also formed in the same way. It is not possible to climb down to this 128 meters deep pit because of the concave walls.

 

You can also see magnificent reliefs in the valley of Devil’s River (Şeytan Deresi) known as Adamkayalar near the Maiden’s Tower. Eleven male, four female, two children and a mountain goat reliefs inside the nine niches carved in rock in the steep slopes of the valley are dated to 2nd century A.D.