Yoros Castle (Turkish: Yoros kalesi) is a ruined castle at the confluence of the Bosphorus and the Black Sea, to the north of Joshua's Hill, in Istanbul, Turkey. It is also commonly referred to as the Genoese Castle, due to Genoa’s possession of it in the mid-15th century.
Yoros Castle sits on a hill surrounded by steep bluffs overlooking the Bosphorus. It is just north of a small fishing village called Anadolu Kavağı, on Macar Bay, and the entire area is referred to as Anadolu Kavağı. This section is one of the narrowest stretches of the Bosphorus, and on the opposite shore sits an area called Rumeli Kavağı, which formerly held a fortification similar to Yoros Castle. (Anadolu and Rumeli were Ottoman terms for the Anatolian and European parts of the empire).
Present Day Yoros Castle:
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.