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My Favourite Planet > English > Middle East > Turkey > Kuşadası > photo gallery
Kuşadası, Turkey Kuşadası photo gallery 1 of 14
Genoese fortress on Güvercin Ada (Dove or Pigeon Island), Kusadasi, Turkey at My Favourite Planet
13th century Genoese fortress on Güvercin Ada (Pigeon Island), joined to the mainland by a causeway.
The Genoese fortress on Güvercin Ada is currently closed for renovation.
See Museum Boom part 1 at The Cheshire Cat Blog.

You can still walk along the causeway and around the foot of the fortress.
The name Kuşadası means bird island ("kuş" = bird and "adasi" = island). You may be told that this is due to the fact that the bay's headland resembles a bird's head when seen from the sea. Personally, I don't get this. Perhaps this was once true, but it is difficult to see the resemblance today. I keep staring at maps and photos trying to imagine it.

Even more confusing is that the island (or islet) to the south of the town's harbour is actually called Güvercin Ada which means Dove Island. Bird Island, Dove Island - whatever. Well, at least it gives people something to discuss while sitting at one of the local fish restaurants.

And the island is technically not even an island. A causeway was built to it in the 19th century, as part of the refortifications during the Greek War of Independence, turning the islet effectively into a headland. This causeway is now a pretty solid structure, along which fishing and excursion boats moor and local anglers catch their evening meal.

The fortress on the island was built by the Genoese who established a trading settlement here, known as Scala Nuova, in the 13th century.

Today the island is part historical monument, part public park. The fortress houses a disco, a restaurant, several trees, a flower garden, some captive rabbits and innumerable pigeons and doves. You can swim here (although you may prefer one of the local beaches) and the views of the Ionian coast to the south, along Kuşadası's waterfront to the north and over to Samos in the west are quite beautiful.
photos and articles:
© David John
See our guides to
other nearby places
Guide to Ephesus, Turkey at My Favourite Planet

Guide to Selcuk, Turkey at My Favourite Planet

The Genoese fortress on Güvercin Ada (Dove or Pigeon Island), Kusadasi, during renovation work in 2013 at My Favourite Planet

The Genoese fortress on Güvercin Ada (Dove Island or Pigeon Island),
Kuşadası, during renovation work in 2013.

The renovation has already taken several years, and there appears to be no published information about when the renovation will be completed or what exactly they are up to within the high walls of the fortress. Perhaps the plans are posted in the basement of the town hall.

Has there been any new archaeological exploration on the island, and how interested are the renovators in preserving the historical authenticity of the structures? The walls themselves have been substantially cleaned
and repaired, and gleam in the sunshine (not shown in Spring rainy-day photo above). One suspects that the old crumbling, makeshift look inside the fortress has been banished, along with the low-rent amenities: the restaurant, disco, flower garden, the rabbit enclosures and the pigeon temples on metal poles (see gallery page 7).

In the foreground, right, is one of the boats which take tourists on day tours and to nearby beaches.
One of the towers of the Genoese fortress on Güvercin Ada, Kusadasi, Turkey, during renovation work in 2013 at My Favourite Planet

One of the towers of the Genoese fortress on Güvercin Ada during renovation work in 2013.
Map, photos and articles: © David John

Additional photos: © Konstanze Gundudis

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have been attributed where applicable.

Please do not use these photos or articles without permission.

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Higher resolution versions are available on request.

Some of the information and photos in this guide to Kuşadası
originally appeared in 2004 on
See also
The Cheshire Cat Blog
photo essays about Turkey:

Istanbul Essentials part 1

Istanbul Essentials part 2

Istanbul Essentials part 3
with video

Ionian Spring part 1

Ionian Spring part 2

Ionian Spring part 3
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