Zilkale is a wonderful historical resting point that stands out among the lush green trees from far away and hosts a view of the enormous Fırtına Creek when you approach it.
Information about the history of Zilkale
Since Zilkale is located on the historical Silk Road, it was an important center for accommodation and communication in ancient times. Although it was called a castle, it was mostly used as a watchtower and a structure where incoming guests could stay. The castle used by the Trabzon Empire is still intact. It impresses with its splendor among the Black Sea mountains.
Zilkale, which ensured the security of the Silk Road, was also used by the Ottoman Empire. At that time, its name was Kale-i Zir, which means Lower Castle. As the name “Lower Castle” suggests, there were other castles on the road. Kale-i Bala, Ciha Castle, Pazar Kız Castle and Rize Castle are the names of the castles in the neighborhood, of course they are not close to here when I say neighborhood.
The view you will see when you climb up to the castle, which is 700 meters high from the sea, can make your heart skip a beat. A view of greenery and forest as far as you can see. In the middle is the Fırtına Stream flowing like a thin tulle. There are even wooden benches and tables for you to sit against this view.
The castle has three main sections. The outer castle, the middle castle and the inner castle. Passersby would enter through the outer castle and leave their cargo in the middle castle, which was used as a warehouse. In order to prevent tax evasion, a record of the goods was kept in rooms called the Guard Room. these goods were counted again at the next stop and if they were missing, it meant that the goods had been sold. In this case, the person would be taxed for the sale.
Among the rooms in the historical structure, there is a prayer room for the soldiers or guests to perform their prayers and a 22-meter tall tower, which is the most important feature. Since the interior parts of the tower were made of wood, it has not survived until today. The castle is a beautiful castle, but it needs to be a bit secluded to enjoy it. Since Zilkale is one of the frequent destinations of Rize Çamlıhemşin tour companies, crowded groups of people can come here from time to time. Since the castle is also small, your photo shoot may be interrupted in this case.
If you want to eat next to the castle against this view, a cafe restaurant called Zilkale Kaledibi Cafe also serves. The reason for the vehicle traffic is due to those who come here.
What are Zilkale entrance fee and visiting hours?
Entrance to Zilkale is paid and Müzekart is not valid.
Where is Rize Zilkale and how to get there?
Zilkale is located in Çamlıhemşin district of Rize. In the center of Çamlıhemşin, there is a bridge over the Fırtına Stream that divides the road into two. The left side of the bridge leads to Ayder Plateau, while the right side leads to Zilkale after 12 km. The road is not asphalt, but not dirt either. It is a road made of paving stones. You can’t go fast, but thanks to Çamlıhemşin’s road pleasure and views, there is no need for speed. You can drive all the way to Zilkale and park in a suitable place. The distance between Ayder Plateau and Zilkale is 30 km, but it takes 45 minutes due to the winding road.
It makes more sense to go to Zilkale in summer, because natural disasters such as floods and landslides can occur in winter or when there is plenty of rain. Although the teams try to intervene immediately, the roads can remain closed for hours on highland roads. While on the way to Zilkale, it is useful to visit the nearby places that can be reached by car. Palovit Waterfall, 6km away, is a must-see.