Tece Castle

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Tece Castle
Tece Kalesi
Mersin Province, Turkey
Tece Castle.jpg
Tece Castle from the southwest
Tece Castle is located in Turkey
Tece Castle
Tece Castle
Coordinates36°43′N 34°27′E / 36.717°N 34.450°E / 36.717; 34.450Coordinates: 36°43′N 34°27′E / 36.717°N 34.450°E / 36.717; 34.450
Site history
Built byRoman Empire (?)
DemolishedMost of it

Tece Castle (Turkish: Tece Kalesi) is a ruined castle in Mersin Province, southern Turkey.


The castle is in the Tece suburb of Mersin at 36°42′N 34°27′E / 36.700°N 34.450°E / 36.700; 34.450. Its distance to Mersin city center is about 20 km (12 mi). Although it is close to the state highway D.400, it is difficult to visit the castle by motor vehicle because it is situated in a citrus plantation.


There is no record about the origin of the castle. However, judging from the architecture, it was probably a late Roman or a Byzantine castle. It was a low elevation castle, and it was built to control the road running parallel to the Mediterranean Sea coast. It was also used by the Crusades and Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, during which the castle underwent renovation.[1]

In June 1981 the American archaeologist and art historian Dr. Robert W. Edwards conducted a formal survey of this site and drew the following conclusions. The rectangular circuit wall and the fragments of its seven small towers were so badly decayed that it was impossible without a formal excavation to deduce the date of construction. However, the surviving portion of the three-storey estate house (keep) is primarily from one period of construction with masonry and architectural features identical to those used during the 12th and 13th centuries in the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia. It is similar to the nearby medieval site of Kız near the Durak railway station. These sites were built by Armenian masons, perhaps for Crusader occupants.[2]


The area within the now ruined ramparts is 1,560 m2 (16,800 sq ft). Most of the buildings are ruined. The only partially standing building is a three-story donjon. The length of the eastern wall is 9.60 m (31.5 ft) and its height is 12 m (39 ft). The northern wall is 11.5 m (38 ft) long and 13 m (43 ft) high. The width of the outer wall is 1.50 m (4.9 ft).[1] The masonry of the inner walls is of ashlar blocks and the outer walls is of bossage blocks.[3]


  1. ^ a b Hasan Buyruk Kafkas University bulletin (in Turkish)
  2. ^ Edwards, Robert W. (1987). The Fortifications of Armenian Cilicia: Dumbarton Oaks Studies XXIII. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks, Trustees for Harvard University. pp. 241–244. ISBN 0-88402-163-7.
  3. ^ Mersin Governorship: Mersin Ören Yerleri Kaleleri Müzeleri ("Mersin Ruins, castles and museums"), ISBN 978-605-4196-07-4 p.65