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Şile and its castle: Historical topography and medieval architectural history [ITU J Faculty Arch]
ITU J Faculty Arch. 2021; 18(1): 183-198 | DOI: 10.5505/itujfa.2020.26779  

Şile and its castle: Historical topography and medieval architectural history

Hasan Sercan Sağlam
Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED), Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey

Being a district of Istanbul, Şile is located towards the east of the northern end of the Bosporus. This small city lies next to the Black Sea and it forms the northeastern section of the provincial borders of Istanbul. Şile Castle is popularly known as “Genoese Castle” but some other sources date it to the Late Byzantine period, as a typical watchtower. Following a long period of neglect, it most recently came into prominence with a restoration in 2015, which fully brought it back to the supposed original appearance. Although some assumptions were formerly made in order to describe the origins of Şile Castle, it was seen that its medieval architectural history was not elaborated despite the relevant information that were scattered around some significant primary sources as well as a number of secondary sources. Those works were not put together with the aim of exclusive objectives for Şile and its castle that the modern studies were also unaware of about which extant monument they mention of. Thus, a critical reading was done between relevant primary and secondary sources with a topographical and architectural point of view for Şile. The obtained information were chronologically considered for the topographical depiction, first construction, and usage of the castle for centuries. Major findings displayed that the origins of Şile Castle not only predate formerly supposed times but also differ than a simple watchtower in terms of initial function. Nearby castles also set an example regarding the usage of Şile Castle in later times.

Keywords: Architectural history, Bithynia, Historical topography, Medieval castle, Şile.


Hasan Sercan Sağlam. Şile and its castle: Historical topography and medieval architectural history. ITU J Faculty Arch. 2021; 18(1): 183-198

Corresponding Author: Hasan Sercan Sağlam, Türkiye


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