Kadifekale Castle, Izmir, Turkey

Last Updated on April 1, 2024

Kadifekale Castle, Izmir, Turkey

Izmir, a gateway to civilization, has a rich history. Greeks, Macedonians, Romans, and Ottomans have all lived in this beautiful city. Although many ancient structures in the area have been lost to the passage of time, there are still many sites standing today, such as Izmir Historical Asansör, Izmir Clock Tower, Izmir Agora, Kemeraltı Bazaar, and sites like Ephesus and Bergama further away from the city are definitely worth visiting. 

History and Legend of Kadifekale Castle

One example of a lost site from ancient times is Kadifekale Castle, also known as Pagos, built in the 3rd century BC by Lysimachos, a general of Alexander the Great. Legend has it that Kadifekale was built on Mount Pagos (Greek: Πάγος, Pagus under the Roman Empire) after Alexander the Great dreamt of a goddess telling him to settle in Izmir while hunting.


Today, the neighborhoods near Kadifekale are still one of the oldest settlements in the city. Remains from the 3rd century BC and cisterns dating back to the Byzantine period can still be found today. Kadifekale has only five remaining towers in the west and a portion of the walls in the south. The other parts of the castle are in ruins.

Location of Kadifekale Castle

Kadifekale Castle is situated 2 kilometers inland from the coastline in the Konak district of modern Izmir and only 1.4 kilometers from the ancient site and open museum of Izmir's Agora


Mount Pagos, where the castle stands, is a significant point in Izmir that offers a panoramic view of the Gulf of Izmir and the city. This strategic location provided a great defensive advantage in the past, and even today, Kadifekale Castle offers some of the best views of the city center. However, it comes at a price. 

Visiting Kadifekale Castle

As we mentioned, Kadifekale Castle is one of the oldest and highest settlement areas in Izmir, and this means, unfortunately, it has been subject to distorted urbanization, resulting in the area becoming a local slum for immigrants and the local minority living in Turkey. Although the Izmir municipality has been working to renovate the living conditions in the area, the slums near Kadifekale Castle still exist. Despite ongoing progress, the reality of the situation is that the area is still in need of significant improvement.


We urge visitors only to visit Kadifekale Castle if they are certain of their safety and to pay extra attention to their personal belongings and protection. While the situation of Kadifekale Castle may improve in the future, we suggest exploring other locations such as the Izmir Cable Car or Izmir Historical Asansör (just 3 kilometers away from Kadifekale Castle) to witness the stunning scenery of Izmir.

Transportation to Kadifekale Castle

If you're planning to visit Kadifekale Castle in İzmir, we recommend reaching Konak Square first. Konak Square is a central square located in the heart of İzmir, and it's just 2 kilometers away from Kadifekale Castle. You can also see the nearby Izmir Clock Tower, Izmir's Agora, and Kemeraltı Bazaar while you're there. 


To get to Konak Square, you can use the Izmir metro line and get off at the Konak metro stop. Alternatively, you can take one of the several bus lines that pass through Konak Square, including 104, 157, 202, and 253. If you prefer taking a ferry, the Karşıyaka-Konak Ferry Line stops at the port near Konak Square.


It's important to note that Kadifekale Castle is located on top of Mount Pagos and is not easily accessible by foot from Konak Square. Therefore, it is recommended to take a taxi to the top of the mountain. 

Read More

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