The Kale in its present (ruinous) form is Byzantine and Ottoman, for well before its enrolment into the Roman empire in 64 BC under Pompeius this was one of the main fortresses of the Pontic kingdom. One can visit the remains of a hamam (bath), a Medrese (religious school) or climb walls (if you dare). There is a teagarden (closed last time I was there).
This is the medrese. I brightened up the shadows, which led at some places to a strange bright band that I could not get rid of easily. So it remained.
The medrese is (or: was) the Yağıbasan Medresesi, named after Nizameddin Yağıbasan, a Danişmend ruler who resided alternately in Sivas, Tokat and Niksar. The ‘kitabe’ (building inscription) was found somewhere else in town in the early 1900s; it gives 1158 as building date. Like its namesake medrese in Tokat, it counts amongst the first islamic schools established in Anatolia. It was of the same type too: with a large square central room, under a dome being open in its center (a so-called ‘open dome madrasa’). Yağıbasan’s tomb stood next to this medrese, but was totally destroyed by earthquakes.
Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Sources: ‘Tokat’ (Ersal Yavi) – Tokat Otelcilik ve Turizm A.Ş. (1986).