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he Earthquake that took place early morning on the 6th of February 2023 affected not only Turkey but also Syria. With the death toll of over 1,000 people dead and over 5,000 injured (and still counting) it is a devastating sight to just imagine. The 7.7 magnitude quake struck around 4:17 AM (1:17 AM GMT) and caused heavy damage. Apart from all the unfortunate death provoked by this natural phenomenon, many historical sites have been demolished to the ground, the biggest loss being the Gaziantep Castle which was over 2,000 years old.

The fall of Gaziantep Castle

Gaziantep Castle, commonly known as the Fortress of Gaziantep, is a historical landmark in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep. It was established during the Byzantine Empire in the 10th century and has subsequently undergone multiple modifications and additions by various emperors and cultures that have controlled the city throughout its history. The castle is located on a hill overlooking the city, making it a valuable fortress throughout history.

Gaziantep Castle before the collapse (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Gaziantep Castle was an important military base during the Byzantine era, protecting the region from invaders. The Armenians later repaired and enlarged the castle during their 12th-century reign of the city. During the Ottoman Empire, the castle was expanded and fortified as Gaziantep grew in significance as a military, political, and cultural center.

The castle has a wide central courtyard that is surrounded by high walls, towers, and gates. The castle also has other historical structures, such as a mosque, a bath, and a cistern, which provide insight into the region’s rich cultural and architectural legacy.

The castle also has defensive walls and towers that show off the superior military engineering techniques that were utilized throughout its construction.

Gaziantep Kalesi (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Gaziantep Castle has withstood several battles and invasions over the years, and it is now a popular tourist destination in the city. Visitors can tour the castle’s walls, towers, and courtyards while admiring the city’s views. Cultural events, including exhibitions, concerts, and festivals, are also held at the castle to commemorate the city’s rich cultural legacy.

One must first climb a route lined with monuments of resistance fighters, then pass through a gate, followed by a more spectacular gate. Gaziantep Stronghold was erected as an observation post by the Hittite Empire and then as a principal castle by the Roman Empire on top of a hill in the center of Gaziantep, Turkey in the second and third centuries AD. Between 527 and 565 AD, Emperor Justinianus expanded and renovated it further.

Gaziantep Castle is a fascinating historical site that provides a glimpse into southern Turkey’s rich history and cultural heritage. The castle stands as a tribute to the military might and building talents of the numerous civilizations that have ruled over the city throughout the centuries, and it is a source of pride for the people of Gaziantep. Visitors from all over the world are drawn to the castle because of its history, beauty, and strategic location.

It is devastating to see that the castle had survived the test of time, but not nature’s test. Over 20 centuries this castle has seen numerous wars and sieges which as previous photos show had withstood against with might.

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