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Castle Kızılhisar in Belevi

Castle Kızılhisar in Belevi Castle Kızılhisar (Red Fortress) is also known as Keçi Kalesi (Goat castle) and is situated on the hill Alamandağ, known in antique as Gallesion. This hill towers in the vicinity of Belevi town, near to Selçuku and is well visible from the İzmir-Aydın highway.




The name “Goat Castle” is explained by two contradictory legends. According to the first one, the ruler, who had lived there, left for few days with majority of his troops. When he was absent the enemy’s troops came close to the castle and waited until dusk to begin the assault. The rest of ruler’s troops in the castle fastened candles to goats’ heads which were bred in the fortress. Candles and goats’ horns looked like helmets so that it seemed as there were thousands of soldiers waiting for the assailants. Thanks to such a deception the enemies withdrew from the fight and the castle was saved.


The second version of the legend tells the story about the siege from the perspective of assailants. They were supposed to wait until dusk and to fasten candles to goats’ heads (the story repeats itself) and to drive them to the fortress. Its defenders thought that goats were a big army of assailants and surrendered the castle without fighting.


Available information on the castle is rather scarce and often contradictory. Its creation is dated from 3rd B.C. century to 14th century AD. It is said that for its construction Hellenistic rulers, Byzantine Empire and Seljuq Turks were responsible.


Most probably, the castle was built in 3rd century B.C., and later on was rebuilt and reconstructed. It is believed that it was supposed to be a defend point for the town of Efes because it was situated not far from the famous city.




The fortress consists of two fortification lines built from limestone. Internal fortress measures 56m x 23m. In the fortress and in the vicinity there are tanks in which drinking water was stored during the siege.




Kızılhisar fortress is situated on the hill west of Belevi, by the exit ramp from Izmir-Aydin highway. When you leave the highway, you should drive 3,5 km through D550 road towards Selçuk. Then you should drive north and walk for about 1,5 km. You can go to the castle on foot climbing at the height of 300 meters through the narrow path which looks like it was really tracked by goats.

text: Izabela Miszczak - Turcja w Sandałach