Historic trading castle to become center of art

A 1,750-year-old castle in the central Anatolian province of Kayseri is preparing to host culture and art events. The Kayseri Castle was built in 238 during the reign of the Roman Empire and served as a center of trade after surviving many wars.

The castle, located in Cumhuriyet Square and symbolizing the 6,000 year history of the city, was one of the leading places for commercial affairs in the past.

The Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality recently gave the go-ahead to turn the castle into a culture and arts center. The shanty houses around the main structure have been removed, while shops currently situated there have been transferred to a passage built in Hunat neighborhood. Works are also continuing to move any businesses inside the castle to alternate locations.

Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality Deputy Secretary-General Cengiz Tekinsoy said after the rearrangement process in Cumhuriyet Square, the historical castle had become a significant place for social life of the city.

He said the municipality had organized a national architectural project competition to make the castle more suitable for social life, and from the 75 projects submitted, they selected Professor Zafer Ertürk and his friends’ proposal.

“The project aims to make the castle a living place. It has been approved by the Regional Committee for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Beings. Two hundred seventy-nine shanty houses inside the walls of the castle have been moved. Application projects have also been prepared, and when they are approved over the coming months we will have completed a significant stage of the plans,” he said.

Tekinsoy also said there were stone houses built in the 1980s inside the castle that should be removed for the project. “Even though the houses match the historical tissue of the castle, they deface the image of the castle overall.”

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