The death toll from the earthquake that rocked Turkey and Syria early Monday has now surpassed 2,300 and continues to rise quickly, reports the AP. While thousands of buildings have been damaged or destroyed in the two countries, one in particular is of note: The 7.8 magnitude quake has severely damaged the ancient Gaziantep Castle in southeastern Turkey, reports CNN. The castle built more than 2,000 years ago has been "largely destroyed," adds Middle East Eye. The landmark had been receiving funds from UNESCO for renovations to become an official World Heritage Site, per the Daily Beast.
"Some of the bastions in the east, south, and southeast parts of the historical Gaziantep Castle in the central Sahinbey district were destroyed by the earthquake—the debris was scattered on the road," per Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu. See this before-and-after image. The castle, which had become a major tourist attraction, was believed to have been built as a watchtower during the Hittite Empire, per Middle East Eye. The Romans later adapted it into a major fortress, and it has been "conquered and reconquered" countless times since. (Read more earthquake stories.)