Zilkale Castle

Discover Rize and its medieval castle

Turkey's Most Magnificent Castle

Zilkale is a medieval castle located in the Firtina Valley within the North Anatolian Mountains. The castle is one of the most important historical structures in Rize province, within the Black Sea region of Turkey.

Zilkale Castle

The most mysterious and romantic castle in Turkey, Zilkale is surrounded by forests and waterfalls, at the top of a wild valley.

The castle was built at an altitude of 750 m, and sits at the edge of a cliff overlooking the riverbed. It is believed that the castle was built between the 14th and 15th centuries. Zilkale consists of the outer walls, the middle walls and the inner castle. The gate of the outer castle is reached by a pathway in the northwest direction. There are three important buildings in the middle castle. These are garrison quarters, and a possible chapel and head tower. There are arched windows on the east side of the tower walls, and loopholes on the other sides.

Situated within the 1st degree archaeological conservation site, the historical Zilkale attracts the attention of tourists and nature lovers with its majestic landscape.

What to Do

Zilkale is the most beautiful castle in Rize with its unique landscape and historical background. It is also in the list of Turkey's 13 most magnificent castles. Attracting attention with its scenery, the castle hosts hundreds of thousands of visitors during the summer season.

The best things to do near the castle of Zilkale;

  • During your visit to Zilkale, you can also stop by Palovit Waterfall. Located 6 km away from the castle, the waterfall is as enchanting as the castle of Zilkale.
  • You should definitely visit Ayder Plateau, which is 30 km away from Zilkale. The road is quite winding. Therefore, the journey to the plateau takes almost 45 minutes.
  • Zilkale is very close to the plateaus in Camlihemsin. You can see the impressive Firtina River and the green plateaus from the castle.

History of the Castle

Zilkale was built on a steep rock at an altitude of 750 m by emperors of the Komnenos dynasty who lived in the region in the 13th century. The castle was used by Genoeses, Greeks and Ottomans, until the end of the 1800s. Situated on the route of the historical Silk Road, Zilkale is a unique castle in terms of its location.

Turkey's Most Magnificent Castle
Zilkale Castle, Camlihemsin, Rize