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Yoros Castle was intermittently occupied throughout the course of the Byzantine Empire. Under the Palaiologos dynasty during the decline of the empire, Yoros Castle was well fortified, as was the Rumeli Kavağı on the opposite side of the Bosphorus. A massive chain could be extended across the Bosphorus between these two points, cutting off the straits to attacking warships, similar to the chain across the Golden Horn which was used to defendConstantinople during the last Ottoman siege by Sultan Mehmed II.
Byzantines, Genoese, and Ottomans fought over this strategic fortification for years. It was first conquered by Ottoman forces in 1305, but retaken by the Byzantines shortly thereafter. Bayezid I took the castle again in 1391 while preparing for his siege of Constantinople. It was used as his field headquarters during the construction of Anadoluhisarı, one of the more important castles for the siege. In 1399 the Byzantines attempted to take back Yoros Castle. The attack failed, but the village of Anadolu Kavağı was burned to the ground. The Ottomans held the fortress from 1391–1414, losing it to the Genoese in 1414. The forty-year Genoese occupation lent the castle its moniker of Genoese Castle.
Upon Sultan Mehmed II’s conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the presence of the Genoese at such a strategic location posed a threat to the new Ottoman capital. Within a few years, Sultan Mehmed drove the Genoese out. He then fortified the walls, and constructed a customs office, quarantine, and check point, as well as placing a garrison of troops there. Bayezid II (1481–1512) later added a mosque within the castle walls.
Cossack raids had plagued the Ottoman Empire throughout its long history. In 1624 a fleet of 150 Cossack caiques sailed across the Black Sea to attack towns and villages near Istanbul. They struck villages inside the Bosphorus, and Murad IV (1623–1640) refortified Anadolu Kavağı to defend against the fleet. It would prove instrumental in securing the region from seaborne Cossack raids.
Under Osman III (1754–1757), Yoros Castle was once again refortified. Later, in 1783 Abdülhamid I added more watchtowers. After this period, it gradually fell into disrepair. By the time of the Turkish Republic, the castle was no longer used.
The ruins of the citadel and surrounding walls still exist, though the mosque, most of the towers, and other structures are gone. Yoros Castle and the village of Anadolu Kavağı are a popular day trip from Istanbul. Normally, the site is not supervised and visitors are free to climb all over the ancient walls. However, there are currently archaeological excavations going on and visitors are unable to enter the castle. Greek inscriptions remain etched on the walls of the castle to this day, along with the symbol of the Palealogus family, who ruled Byzantium until its fall. The military importance of the site cannot be overstated. In fact, much of the area surrounding Yoros Castle is today in the hands of the Turkish military, who have closed off areas to visitors.
The villagers of Anadolu Kavağı historically depended mostly on fishing for income, but it appears some may have acted as 'wreckers'. Turkish rumors report that they would light fires in order to disorient ships and ground them in the narrow straits, seizing their goods. Conversely, many claim that Anadolu Kavağı was also used as a shelter for trade ships against storms, where it is recorded even up to three hundred ships were serviced at a time.
Perga was an ancient and important city of Pamphylia, between the rivers Catarrhactes and Cestrus. It was renowned for the worship ofArtemis, whose temple stood on a hill outside the town, and in whose honour annual festivals were celebrated. The coins of Perge represent both the goddess and her temple. Alexander the Great occupied Perge with a part of his army after quitting Phaselis, between which two towns the road is described as long and difficult.
In 46 A.D., according to the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul journeyed to Perga, from there continued on to Antiocheia in Pisidia, then returned to Perga where he preached the word of God (Acts 14:25). Then he left the city and went to Attaleia.
In the first half of the 4th century, during the reign of Constantine the Great (324-337), Perga became an important centre of Christianity, which soon became the official religion of the Roman Empire. The city retained its status as a Christian centre in the 5th and 6th centuries.
St. Paul the Apostle and his companion St. Barnabas, twice visited Perga as recorded in the biblical book, the Acts of the Apostles, during their first missionary journey, where they "preached the word" before heading for and sailing from Attalia (modern-day Antalya city), 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) to the southwest, to Antioch.
Paul and Barnabas came to Perge during their first missionary journey, but probably stayed there only a short time, and do not seem to have preached there; it was there that John Mark left Paul to return to Jerusalem. On his return from Pisidia Paul preached at Perge.
St. Matrona of Perge of the 6th century was a female saint known for temporarily cross-dressing to avoid her abusive husband. She also is known for opposing the Monophysite policy of the emperor Anastasios I. Matrona hid in the monastery of St. Bassion as the enuch Babylos. Once revealed, she was sent to a woman’s monastery where she was head of the convent. She was famous for her miraculous gift of healing. She went on to found a nunnery in Constantipole. St Matrona died at the age of 100. Her life was told through a vita prima whose author and exact time period remains a mystery.
The Greek Notitiae episcopatuum mentions the city as metropolis of Pamphylia Secunda until the 13th century. Le Quien gives the names of 11 of its bishops: Epidaurus, present at the Council of Ancyra in 312; Callicles at the First Council of Nicaea in 325; Berenianus, at Constantinople (426); Epiphanius at the Second Council of Ephesus (449), at the First Council of Chalcedon (451), and a signatory of the letter from the bishops of the province to Emperor Leo (458); Hilarianus, at a council at Constantinople in 536; Eulogius, at the Second Council of Constantinople in 553; Apergius, condemned as a Monothelite at the Third Council of Constantinople in 680; John, at the Trullan council in 692; Sisinnius Pastillas about 754 (aniconoclast who was condemned at the Second Council of Nicaea in 787); Constans, at the same council of that condemned his predecessor; John, at the Council of Constantinople of 869–70.
Perga is today an archaeological site and a tourist attraction. Ancient Perge, one of the chief cities of Pamphylia, was situated between the Rivers Catarrhactes (Düden Nehri) and Cestrus (Aksu), 60 stadia (about 11.1 kilometres (6.9 mi)) from the mouth of the latter; the site is in the modern Turkish village of Murtana on the Suridjik sou, a tributary of the Cestrus, formerly in the Ottoman vilayet of Konya. Its ruins include a theatre, apalæstra, a temple of Artemis and two churches. The temple of Artemis was located outside the town.
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