Kouz Kalesi is a castle that sits on a small island just off the beach in the Mersin district of Turkey. The castle is a remarkable historical site.The Kouz Kalesi which is translated as “Girl Castle” is located in Turkey’s Mersin region. The castle actually lies about a half mile off the beach on a very small island in the Mediterranean Sea. Its town, also called Kouz Kalesi, is named after the castle.
The beach is a favorite summer spot for many European and American tourists. During the off season, the area is almost deserted. The best months to visit this area are: May, June, July, August, and September. During the tourist season, open bazaars and sidewalk cafes line the streets. Numerous beach hotels can be found in the area. The normal beach fare can be found such as paddle boats, and even jet ski rentals are available. Beach vendors selling corn-on-the-cob or simit, a traditional Turkish bread, definitely add a local flavor. The obvious main attraction is the castle which immediately captures one’s attention.
The locals love to spin a tale of long ago about a king whose beautiful young daughter, the princess, was prophesied to die from the bite of a poisonous snake. The king loved his daughter immensely, and he could not bear the thought of losing her. To protect her, he decided to build a castle for her off the coast of the mainland on a very small island. Upon the king’s decree, the castle was quickly constructed.
The princess, upon reaching the castle, would at last be safe from harm. For some time, the princess lived safely and happily on the island. One day when fresh fruits and vegetables were brought to the castle from the mainland, a snake was concealed in a basket of grapes. The snake bit the king’s daughter, and she died just as it had been prophesied.
Regardless of the validity of tales of kings and princesses, the castle is remarkable. The castle glistens off the blue-green, Mediterranean waters and is truly a beautiful site. It may be even more breathtaking at night when it is lit up with a vast array of light. It can be reached by boat or even by hardy swimmers.