Ankara Castle is, undoubtedly, one of the most interesting parts of the Turkish capital. It is seen from afar, as the citadel is perched on a hill – so you will never miss this spectacular sight. Actually, it is standing above Ulus, the oldest district of Ankara. Prestigious and prosperous in the first part of 20th century, now it is less attractive for the tourist. However, it gives a good view on the everyday life of the Turkish people.
The exact age of the Ankara Castle is still unknown. Scientists argue about even the presumable year of its construction, but they agree on the historical fact that it was already functioning when Seljuq Turks captured it in 1073. Through years, it was enlarged and renovated bit by bit, and now it occupies almost the whole hill.
In fact, the Citadel (as people frequently call the Castle) is divided into inner and outer parts. The outer part surrounds the old Ankara. There are 42 towers along the walls which protected the old city, 14-16 meters high each. You can see them on the hill, and the view is really good for making some medieval-style photos.
When you enter the Castle from the main gate (which is near the Clock tower), first you pass by different historic buildings. Some of them are renovated and turned into popular touristic spots (cafes, souvenir shops etc.), but the rest are still not in the best condition. What is more, the hill is covered with small, semi-dilapidated houses where the poor citizens of Ankara still live. By strolling around you can see the life exactly like in a traditional Turkish village.
Be prepared to climb stairs. Lots of them. Actually, make sure that you are not in a hurry, as you might want to have some rest while walking up. However, the view that opens up from the castle’s walls above the city is a real reward for that long way up. Feel the fresh wind on your face and enjoy spectacular panoramas of Ankara. Yet, do not get carried away by the beauty and always be careful: there are no safety barriers on the edges of the walls, so you would want to stay away from them.
Walk from Ulus metro station, or any bus stop on Ulus Square