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Red Tower (Kızıl Kule) in Alanya district of Antalya is an important building in Alanya travel programs. This magnificent building, which is the symbol of Alanya, gives the city a historical identity. It is one of the unique examples of Anatolian Seljukian art with its appearance, robustness, construction technique, interesting plan, and inscriptions.
Kızılkule is one of many added to Alanya castle which strengthens the defense of Castle. The tower does not only protect the entrance of the port but also has a duty to protect the castle and the shipyard. It was built in 1226 by Syrian architect Abu Ali Reha el Kettani under the management of the Seljukian ruler, Alaeddin Keykubat.
Origin of the Red Tower’s Name
Even though the original name of the tower is Sultan Aladdin Tower, it was started to be called Kızılkule because of the red bricks used in its construction. Kızılkule was officially named as the ‘’Red Tower’’ by the famous Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi after his visit in 1671. In addition, Evliya Çelebi mentioned that Kızılkule could take 2000 people during a siege and be protected with 40 soldiers.
The tower is a good example of military architecture in the early Seljukian era. It was built on an octagonal plan. The diameter of the tower is 29 meters on the ground and it reaches 33 meters in height. There are 56 windows on the facades of Kızılkule. In addition, there are 22 windows made to pour tar and hot oil on the enemy.
Plan of Red Tower
The internal plan of the tower is quite complicated. It consists of 6 floors, including the second floor, which is described as the mezzanine floor. Each of the floors has a different layout. It is reached by passing narrow stairs between floors due to military purposes. The walls are built with pebble stones and covered with rectangular blocks. Hard lime mortar was used between the blocks. The upper part and vaults are built with reddish baked brick. There is a cistern inside the octagonal pier in the center of the building. This also helps to carry the weight of the structure. The tower was restored between 1951-53. The tower was used as an ethnographic museum after its restoration.
Kızıl Kule (Red Tower) in Alanya is such a place that takes you back in time. I really recommend it to explorers who are especially interested in military architecture. The height and the size of the building are astonishing when you consider the time it was built. You can contact me if you need to learn more about the Red Tower in Alanya or if you need to book a professional licensed Turkish tour guide to see the Red Tower in Alanya. See you soon, Hasan Gülday