Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sis Castle

courtesy of Dick Osseman
http://www.pbase.com/dosseman/image/95346107
Truth is most definitely stranger than fiction. I was looking for a medieval princess trapped in a fortress in the middle of the sea and found one who lived at the top of a craggy peak instead. Her city is now Kozan, near Adana in the south of Turkey. The main ruin there, Sis castle, was the capitol of the Rubenid dynasty. It was destroyed in 1375, but not by djinn. Towers are terraced into the rock of two tall peaks and there are tunnels and storage rooms carved deep into the mountain, designed against a siege. Once formidable, now it's little more than a pile of rubble and not a huge tourist attraction. Again, reminds me of the poet Shelley:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Sybil's actual namesake, Queen Zabel of Cilicia was born there, lived there, had her children there. She died nearby in the monastery of Trazarg. Her kingdom, Cilicia, was an important ally of the Outremer Crusader states, supporting the pilgrimage and the crusades to Jerusalem. The Knights Hospitaller, similar to the Knights Templar made famous again by Dan Brown, were big players in the region at that time. I use them in Burnt Amber too, though not in the most traditional sense. I'm verging on spoilers here...so maybe I should stop now. Thought you might enjoy seeing my inspiration though, especially if you're a beta reader.

4 comments:

KarenG said...

Hi! Came from LTM's blog and now your #30 follower! I look forward to learning more about Turkish culture, castles and cool stuff!

KarenG

Carolyn Abiad said...

Thank you Karen! Tomorrow's post is about Meze appetizers. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it...

Kim Busk said...

Carolyn, I want to visit, but only with you!

Carolyn Abiad said...

Wouldn't a tour of all the stuff in the book be cool? Not there yet, but someday!

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