Fodor's Expert Review Kadifekale

Izmir Castle/Palace/Chateau
Free

Climb the windy, restored ramparts of the Kadifekale (Turkish for "velvet castle"), built soon after Alexander the Great swept through Smyrna, for sweeping views of the city and its harbor. Perched on Mount Pagos, the castle was frequently rebuilt after various mishaps, and was enlarged and strengthened by successive conquerors. The structure looks like a childhood fantasy of a medieval castle, with solid stone blocks (some dating from Alexander's day), Byzantine cisterns, and Ottoman buttresses jutting out to support the walls. Locals may warn solo visitors (especially women) not to visit the Kadifekale alone for fear of being hassled or harassed, though the neighborhood is primed for change as the government clears and redevelops the shanty-like area around the site. Consider asking a taxi to wait for you.

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Izmir, Izmir  35000, Turkey

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