Cable car assisting historic castle’s restoration
SİVAS – Anadolu Agency
AA photoThe restoration of the 900-year-old Mengücek Castle in Divriği in Central Anatolia has received a shot in the arm thanks to the construction of a cable car to help carry massive stones to aid in the fortress’ refurbishment.
The castle is being restored as part of works to revive historical artifacts in the Divriği town center. The cable car, which can descend in six minutes, was built to prevent any damage to the stones used in the restoration.
Divriği District Gov. Mehmet Nebi Kaya said the restoration of the castle, which began last year, had restarted following a break for winter.
He said the castle walls were being restored and that environmental arrangements would be made.
“Excavations have been carried out inside the castle walls. The restoration of the castle’s mosque was previously conducted.”
Kaya said the Castle Mosque located inside the walls was built in the 1180s and was one of the first mosques in Anatolia.
“This was the first work by the Mengüceks in Divriği. The stones used here are the ones that belong to Divriği. They were used in the original structure, too. This shows the quality of the work here. With the environmental arrangement, this place will not only be a castle but a [meeting place] for the locals of the district. We will protect this castle by keeping it as a living space. We will never lock its door. It will be a magnificent place for people to spend their time with various attractions,” Kaya said.
In addition to Mengücek Castle, officials will revive all historic artifacts in the district, including the Divriği Ulu Mosque and Hospital, which are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and have been dubbed the “Alhambra of Anatolia” by some academics.
“Tourism is an industry that doesn’t pollute. We always invite tour operators and show them the region. It is important to keep artifacts alive,” he added.
He said the restoration company received permission from the Council of Monuments to establish the cable car system in the castle and that the restoration was being restored in accordance with its original form.
An official for the restoration company, architect Sercan Zeydanlı, said the cable car system was 260 meter long.
He said the stones removed from the local Taşbel quarry were being cut and brought to the castle.
“With the help of the cable car, we’re carrying the stones to the castle. A stone weighs nearly 80 tons. The cable car travels between the castle and the district about 70 times a day,” Zeydanlı said.
Mengücek Castle was a rectangular fortress built during the Middle Ages. The length of the castle’s outer walls is 1,000 meters while the inside walls are 400 meters.
The western and southern sides of the castle are surrounded with two lines of walls. Since there are precipices to the north and the east, some simple walls were built for the safety of those living in the castle.