akav1The suburb of Anadolu Kavağı on the Asian side of the Bosphorus serves as the last stopping point on the long Bosphorus cruises out of Eminönü. The entire seafront is a line of fish restaurants catering mainly for those on tight budgets and with not a lot of time to linger over a meal.

For those with energy it's well worth climbing the hill at the back of the village. From the summit it's possible to look out at the point where the Bosphorus empties into the Black Sea (and, presumably, down on the Third Bosphorus Bridge as it takes shape).

Up here, too, are the ruins of Yoros Kalesi, presumed to be in origin a Byzantine fortress but restored in the 14th century when it was a Genoese stronghold from 1414 to 1454. The castle was refortified in the mid 17th century as a defence against Cossack raids. The last additions were made to it in 1783 during the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid I. 

In its prime it was the biggest castle on the Bosphorus, much bigger, for example, than Rumeli Hisarı. In 2014 excavations were still taking place at the site. Hopefully more of its history will soon be revealed. 

The name almost certainly commemorates a lost temple to Zeus Ourios (the god of good winds) that once stood on the same site. 

This is one of the narrowest points of the Bosphorus strait and Anadolu Kavağı is mirrored on the European shore by Rumeli Kavağı where there was also a castle, İmroz Kalesi. In Byzantine times a chain could be stretched between the two castles to close the Bosphorus to shipping in the same way that the Golden Horn could also be closed. 

If you take the ferry across the Bosphorus to Sarıyer be sure to look back towards Anadolu Kavagı. Inside the naval base on the shore you will be able to see the imposing Marko Paşa Köşkü. Marko Paşa (1814-88) was the Greek physician to Sultan Abdülaziz and the man who founded Kızılay, the Red Crescent. 

Transport info

Full Bosphorus cruises from Eminönü leave daily at 10.35am and 1.35pm (http://sehirhatlari.com.tr/en/timetable/full-bosphorus-cruise-362.html). There are also ferries to and from Sarıyer on the European shore (http://sehirhatlari.com.tr/en/timetable/sariyer-anadolu-kavagi-366.html). 

Alternatively you can get here by bus from Üsküdar. If you want to explore the castle at your leisure you could take the ferry one way and then return by bus. Be warned that if the traffic is bad this could take quite a long time. 

Nearby areas

Anadolu Feneri







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