Kızılhisar Castle (Red Fortress), also known by the names Keçi Kalesi or Goat Castle, is sat atop on Alamandağ Hill, near the town of Belevi, and is clearly visible from the road between İzmir and Aydın.
There are two legends which are said to explain the name “Goat Castle”, one completely contradicting the other!
According to the first legend, the ruler at the time left the castle, along with most of his troops. During his absence, an enemy approached and sat in wait for dusk in order to launch their attack. In an attempt to fool the enemy, the defenders attached candles to the heads of goats inside the fortress. The goats’ horns resembled helmets from a distance, thus it look the appearance of thousands of soldiers inside the castle walls, ready to repel any attack that took place. Therefore, the enemy forces retreated and the castle was saved.
The second tells the story of the siege of the fortress from the position of the attacking army. Again, they waited until dusk and then attached the candles to the goats and rushed them towards the fortress. Its defenders, confused and thinking that that a huge army was attacking, surrendered the castle so there would be no blood shed.
Little is actually known about the history of the castle. The suggested date of its construction varies from the 3rd century BC to the 14th century AD. Its build is generally accredited to rulers of the Hellenistic Period, the Byzantine Empire and the Seljuk Turks.
Most likely the castle was built in the 3rd century BC and then rebuilt and restored several times throughout it’s history. The castle could possibly have been a point of defence at one point for the nearby city of Ephesus, as it is located close by to the road leading to this historical city.
Getting to the castle is a fairly strenuous walk of about an hour uphill. But once there, the views offered are stunning.