Travel

Ancient Kahta Castle reopens for visitors after 17 years

Ancient Kahta Castle reopens for visitors after 17 years

ADIYAMAN, Türkiye (AA): Offering breathtaking views, the Kahta Castle has opened its doors to visitors again after a long restoration period

Located in the Kahta district of Türkiye’s southeastern Adıyaman province, the Kahta Castle has been reopened to visitors following a 17-year comprehensive restoration.

The history of the Kahta district dates back to prehistoric times due to its proximity to Mesopotamia, the birthplace of numerous civilizations. Thanks to its geographical location, the settlement has hosted countless civilizations from ancient times to date. Hittites, Mitanni Kingdom, Assyrians, Late Hittites, Persians, and Alexander the Great of Macedonia, the Kingdom of Commagene and the Eastern Roman Empire are among the civilizations that ruled over Kahta.

A view from the Kahta Castle, Adıyaman, southeastern Türkiye, Aug. 8, 2022. (AA)
A view from the Kahta Castle, Adıyaman, southeastern Türkiye, Aug. 8, 2022. (AA)

Founded by Mithridates I Callinicus, the Kingdom of Commagene dominated Mesopotamia and the great Euphrates between 109 B.C. and 72 A.D. Mithridates I Callinicus is claimed to share ancestry with Alexander the Great and Darius the Great, King of Persia. Commagene became a personification of the marriage of East and West, which can be seen in its culture. Although its people have traditions of the Greek and Persian cultures blended into one, the rulers of this kingdom did not hide their admiration for the Persian, Assyrian and Armenian cultures.

Gigantic statues of gods on Mount Nemrut have been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1987 and are one of the well-known archaeological pieces left by the Kingdom of Commagene in Adıyaman. The colossal sculptures are part of the temple-tomb commissioned around 49 B.C. by King Antiochos I of Commagene (69-34 B.C.) as a shrine to himself. Another important architectural wonder from the Kingdom of Commagene in the city is the Kahta Castle. Built by the Commagene people as an important headquarter together with Arsameia, which was a royal seat for the civilization, the castle bears the traces of three important civilizations. During the Roman period, the castle maintained its importance and was much developed. With the Mamluks dominating the region in the 1260s, the castle was restored and given its current shape.

An interior view from the Kahta Castle, Adıyaman, southeastern Türkiye, Aug. 8, 2022. (AA)
An interior view from the Kahta Castle, Adıyaman, southeastern Türkiye, Aug. 8, 2022. (AA)

Kahta Castle fascinates visitors with its bazaar, mosque, dungeon, and waterways. The castle, on the route to Mount Nemrut, was closed to visitors in 2005 for security reasons, and a comprehensive restoration process began. After intense work completed in three stages, the castle welcomes visitors with its former grandeur again.

Providing information about the long restoration period at the castle, Mahmut Çuhadar, governor of Adıyaman, told the Anadolu Agency (AA) that a glass terrace was built inside the castle as part of the “Revitalization of the Tourism Sector in Adıyaman” project. “Security strips of the walkways were also completed. The castle is now waiting for visitors,” the governor added.

Noting that Kahta Castle is one of the best preserved historical castles in Türkiye, Çuhadar continued: “The castle is worth seeing. Our visitors will not regret it, we welcome domestic and foreign tourists here.”

He also reminded that Adıyaman is a hidden paradise for tourists with great potential as it has various underground and surface resources.

Visitors walk towards the Kahta Castle, Adıyaman, southeastern Türkiye, Aug. 8, 2022. (AA)
Visitors walk towards the Kahta Castle, Adıyaman, southeastern Türkiye, Aug. 8, 2022. (AA)

Museum Director Mehmet Alkan said the castle has a magnificent appearance with its bastions, inner palace structure, a prayer room, and a dungeon.

“We have taken all security measures. We are waiting for our local and foreign visitors here,” Alkan said.

Susanne Kalla, a visitor from Austria to the Kahta Castle, said she could not visit the castle three years ago because it was closed to visitors.

“I am one of the luckiest people in the world to see this magnificent castle … I have seen many castles, but this place is very well preserved, I was very impressed,” she said.

A French visitor, Emmanuel Juste, said he is a travel guide in his hometown and would add his impressions of the castle to his travel book and update it.

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