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index / A castle tour of Turkey
Any traveller who follows the history of Anatolia knows how important it is to dream. Closing his eyes tight on the streets of an ancient city, he will hear the grinding of horse-drawn goods carts on the marble pavement, the voices of haggling merchants, the calls of watchmen on patrol. The strains of a chant will reach his ears in front of a monastery. And even with his eyes closed he will see the lights of the candles, lighted one by one, being engulfed in the night. At a collapsed bridge the clatter of horses’ hooves will punctuate the murmur of the waters. Standing before a fortress, the same imaginary traveller will hear the roar of armies and battle cries, and the bitter sound of human voices will mingle with exploding cannons, clashing swords and arrows whizzing through the air. For a fortress signifies war. And war is a story filled with attacks, and the tragic heroism of the defenders. Hilltop fortresses watch over almost every city and border crossing in Anatolia. Attacked from every direction over the centuries, the lands of Anatolia found a solution in erecting fortresses, stone upon stone, in an attempt to resist the armies of the Mongols, the Persians, the Crusaders and Alexander the Great.
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