REPUBLIC OF TURKEY GAZİANTEP PROVINCIAL DIRECTORATE OF CULTURE AND TOURISM

Kstels And Fountains

KASTELS AND FOUNTAINS

 

      The unique Gaziantep Kastels standing as incomparable examples for water architecture were constructed as multi-functional structures. These structures available only in Gaziantep in Turkish Architecture haven’t drawn attention since they were partially or entirely underground. Therefore, they haven’t taken place in the terminology of art history. The word “Kastel” is assumed to have been derived from Arabic, and it means the place where water is partitioned underground. Although Gaziantep has a water supply like Alleben Creek flowing through the town center, it has been a poor town in terms of underground water supplies through history. People gathered water into a specific place (Suburcu) through the underground tubes called Livas, and distributed the water through the city in order to prevent water from vaporizing or disappearing in another way. The houses were erected upon livases in order to meet water needs, and the wells were dug through the houses into livases. These wells were used both to meet water needs and suspend the perishable goods into during the summer time. Also, cave-like roomy spaces called Kastel, a specific spot of water tubes generally passing beneath mosques which could be reached by 30-40 steps down were constituted involving restrooms, baths, lounging room to perform ablution, the places to do laundry and wash fleece, and as well as chambers for praying in some of them. These above mentioned functionally featured places turn out to be a common point of Gaziantep Kastels. Despite their plain and modest structures, Kastels have preserved their significance from the first day until the date when the houses had town faucet water and the fountains were built in modern terms. Five or six of these kastels which are legacy and unique examples for water architecture disappeared for various reasons. The ones remaining are

 

1- Şeyh Fethullah Kastel

2- İhsan Bey Mescit and Kastel

3- Pişirici Mescit and Kastel

4- İmam-ı Gazali Kastel

5- Ahmet Çelebi Kastel Kastel.

6- Kozluca Kastel

 

FOUNTAINS

 

        The water system constituted in Gaziantep gave the opportunity for faucet water to reach any house through water tubes passing beneath the houses called Livas. Therefore, square and wall fountains weren’t needed in residential areas. Particularly, in the areas where commercial layer took place, more fountains were erected because of the population density.