Castles and Barracks
Beykoz Yoros Castle
Although its construction date is unknown, one of the oldest castles in Beykoz is Yoros Castle. The castle is built upon a hill overlooking the Bosphorus in Anadolu Kavağı. Legend says that the name of the castle comes from “Ouiros,” one of Zeus’ adjectives. Yoros is not built by the Genovese as it is commonly believed. Its towers bear the marks of Byzantium. The castle was first took over by the Turkish in 1305 along with the Şile Castle. The Genovese who controlled the Black Sea trade routes took the castle back from the Turks in a raid in 1348. The Genovese use the castle for 42 years, and extensively repair it. In 1391, Bayezid I. raids Yoros with a large army. Following the conquest, then Bayezid II. renovates the castle. A bath and a masjid is built inside. In time, houses in which the castle guards settle were built inside the castle. The excavations that began in 2010 reveal 25 house foundations inside the castle.
The castle remained defunct since the 19th century. Yoros Castle covers about 500 meters on an east-west axis, and is parallel to the Black Sea. Its area is 60x130 meters. The excavations that began in 2010 revealed 80 artifacts including a bronze mortar sculpture, bath stones, glazed tiles, stone cannon balls, a measurement container, Venician glasses, perfume bottles, a bronze measurement container, coins and armory tresses. The oldest of the artifacts is dated to the rule of Bayezid I., and the newest is dated to the first years of the Republic. During the excavations, the first sample of a lady’s pipe bowl called “zenne” and Greek coins were also found. The excavation conducted by the Istanbul University is still going on. Although the Castle is closed down, its location overlooking the Bosphorus still provides a significant potential for tourism. The restaurants around the Castle also offer the best views of the Bosphorus, the Anadolu Kavağı Valley and the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge.