Ginolu Castle is located on the shores of the Black Sea, in the western part of Çatalzeytin, in the Province of Kastamonu. According to archaeological and historical sources, it is estimated that the area was inhabited since the 5th century BC, but the date of the castle construction has not been determined unequivocally. The Turkish researcher, Erdal Eser, explains that "The negative topographical conditions and the maritime transportation which has been activated since the early periods are the important reasons for the lack of information in our research." [see Bibliography section below]
It is estimated that the fortress was built in the period from the 9th to the 11th century AD. Ginolu Castle played a significant role during the period of the Venetian and Genoese colonization of the Black Sea coast. In Ottoman times, the fortress was certainly expanded and repaired.
The castle is mentioned in a letter to Tamerlane, dating back to the years 1403 -1406, written by Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo. He mentions a powerful fortress with a Muslim ruler named Isfandiyar who pays tribute to Tamerlane. Back then, the castle was surrounded by thick forests. These forests provided the best wood for the construction of bows.
Ginolu village, where the castle administratively belongs, was declared a protected archaeological and natural area in 1998. The detailed study of Ginolu Castle was conducted by Dr Erdal Eser and the results were published in 2004 by Hacettepe University.
The fortress towers over the Black Sea coast, on Cape Sürtüven. It rises above a beautiful natural harbor, located on its eastern side, and a small bay with a pebble beach on the western side.
Near the castle, there is a small modern settlement of summer cottages. Panoramic views of the Black Sea and its coast extend from the wall of the castle.
The castle is currently in a rather poor condition. Sightseeing tour of the structure is made difficult by thorny bushes and rotten footbridges that threaten to collapse under the weight of unexpected guests. It is visible that the fortress underwent a partial restoration, abandoned for unknown reasons. Admission to the castle is free of charge.
While seeking more information about Ginolu Castle, please note that, according to various sources, the fortress bore the following names: Cimolis, Cinolis, Kimolis, Kinolis, Qinoli, Quinori, and Quinopoli.
By car: from the eastern direction - drive 106 km from Sinop along the D010 coastal route, and from the western direction - drive 45 km from İnebolu. Be careful as the signpost that marks the right turn-off appears only once, just before the turn-off.