Bolaman Kalesi (Bolaman Castle)

Bolaman Kalesi is a great place to visit for those in search of a traditional Turkish meal in exotic Ottoman surroundings. The nearby beach has a few restaurants offering coastal dining, with good views of the sea and castle. The castle is situated four kilometers east of Fatsa on the Black Sea coast.


Balaman Kalesi is a remarkable castle that consists of what looks like a wooden house perched precariously on top of a stone-built basement. The castle's outer walls are made of ashlar and contain watchtowers around the courtyard. There is a small chapel in the inner fortress. Not much is known about the castle's history. The stone substructure probably started out as a real castle with a chapel inside, and quite possibly was built by the Byzantines or maybe Genoese traders. It is believed that the castle was built by the Kingdom of Pontus as a fortress to serve as a watchtower. The wooden superstructure, however, was only added in the 18th century when a local family called the Haznedaroğlus held considerable influence in the area and defied the Ottomans to do their worst by claiming to be the rulers of the rather more important Trabzon. This wooden mansion was built between the fortress wall and chapel to be used as a guest house. Not long afterwards it was visited by the British traveler William Hamilton who left a vivid description of it. But past importance is no guarantee of continued importance, and towards the end of the 20th century, Bolaman Kalesi came close to being demolished to make way for a school. After its restoration by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in 2009, the mansion is now used as a restaurant for regional cuisine under the name "Hazinedaroğlu Mansion." Members of the same family were also responsible for the more conventionally lovely wooden house immediately behind the castle, the Haznedaroğlu Ahmet Bey Konaği, dating back to 1764.