Located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, Mardin is one of the most curious cities in the Southeastern Anatolia Region. With its unique architecture, the city where you will travel on time has a long history with its structure that embraces different religions. 26. Turkey’s most populous city of Mardin, which borders with Syria. According to 2016 data of TURKSTAT, Mardin, where 796,237 people live, has an area of 8,858 square kilometers. There are 10 districts in Mardin province including Kızıltepe, Midyat, Dargeçit, Yeşilli, Nusaybin, Ömerli, Derik, Mazıdağı and Midyat. Located on the Silk Road, Mardin is one of the oldest cities of Upper Mesopotamia. Findings from the excavations around Artuklu University in the city, which is estimated to date back 3,000 years, point to the Paleolithic Age. During the excavations around Boncuklu Tarla in the district of Dargeçit, finds belonging to the Polished Stone Age and Chalcolithic Age finds were found during the excavations at Kerküşti Höyük. There are also remains from the Bronze Age and Iron Age in different parts of the city. Mardin, which was under Assyrian rule in 2000 BC, came under the reign of Hittite, Urartu and Medes. Although Alexander conquered Iran and Anatolia in the 4th century BC, he established domination in the region for a while but after the death of Alexander the Persians and Sassanids dominated the region. Although the Roman Empire struggled with Iran for a long time in order to dominate the territories of East and Northeast Anatolia from the 1st century AD, they could not establish full dominance in the region and the region was under the sovereignty of Byzantium. Hz. During the caliphate of Ali, Mardin was conquered by the Islamic armies in 640 and joined the Islamic state. After this date, an intensive influx of Turkmen started in the Mardin region. The city, which came under the rule of Artuklu Principality in 1103, remained under the rule of Mardin Artukites founded by İlgazi Bey for 300 years. Later, Mardin, which was ruled by Eyyubids, Anatolian Seljuks, İlhanlılar, Karakoyunlular and Akkoyunlular respectively, joined the territory of Ottoman Empire after Çaldıran War in 1517.
Places to visit in Mardin
Since Mardin is the city of different religions and cultures, there are many mosques, churches and monasteries to be visited. You can explore the city in three days with good planning. We recommend that you start your Mardin tour with Mardin Castle which is home to many civilizations. The Deyrulzafaran Monastery, which is still actively used by the Assyrians, is one of the places you should not return without seeing. Zinciriye Madrasa, Kasımiye Madrasa and Ulu Mosque are among the religious buildings worth seeing, while Kirklar Church, Deyrulumur Monastery, Meryemana Church and Patriarchate are the historical structures you should add to your list of places to visit. We recommend you to visit Mardin Museum, Sabancı Mardin City Museum and Dara Ancient City where you can find information about Mardin’s long history. Traditional Mardin houses will often come across during your visit. Information about the places listed is available below.
Great Mosque of Mardin
Ulu Mosque, which is the symbol of Mardin; It is also known as Cami-i Kebir. Ulu Mosque, the oldest mosque in Mardin, dates back to the Artukid period. Ulu Mosque is accepted as one of the most important works of Artuqid period with its architectural features. Dazzling with its dome and minaret, the mosque dates back to 1176. According to the inscription in the minaret, Ulu Mosque II was built by Kutbüddin İlgazi. According to the records, the minaret of the mosque, which has two minarets, was built in 1888-1889. Although the other minaret rumors about the demolition of the exact cause is unknown. The Ulu Mosque, which underwent various repairs until today, was last renovated in 2010. According to the discourses and researches of the Assyrian writers, there was a church in the place of the Ulu Mosque and the structure was converted from a church to a mosque. The walls of the mosque, which has a rectangular structure and a small courtyard and fountain, are made of yellow cut stone like many other structures in Mardin.
Built in 1895 as the Syriac Catholic Patriarchate, Mardin Museum was built by Ignatios Behnam Banni, the Patriarch of Antakya in the period. The Syriac Catholic Patriarchate, which was used as a religious center, military base, health center and police station for a long time, started to serve as a museum in 1995 after a number of restoration works. Mardin Museum reflects the cultural and historical riches of Mardin and is home to ethnographic and archaeological collections. There are archeological artifacts such as tablets, cylinders, gold, silver and copper coins belonging to many civilizations from Persians to Romans, Byzantine to Ottoman period, as well as ethnographic works such as necklaces, bracelets, old clothes, Turkish baths and coffee sets. The Mardin Museum, which is closed on Mondays, is open from 15 April to 2 October, from 09.00 to 19.00, and from 3 October to 14 April from 08.00 to 17.00. The entrance fee of the Mardin Museum, which is free for those under 18 and over 65, is 5 TL. Muzekart is valid in Mardin Museum. You can also walk to the museum in Shar Quarter, where you can easily reach the museum by public buses.
Mor Gabriel (Deyrulumur) Monastery
Mor Gabriel Monastery, located in the village of Güngören, 23 kilometers from the Midyat district of Mardin, is one of the most important structures of the Assyrian Ancient Society. It is also known as Deyrulumur Monastery. Although the foundations of the monastery built on the hill surrounded by oak trees were laid in 397 by Shmuel and Mor Şemun, additions such as shelter and prayer places were added to the monastery at different times. The monastery was developed especially with the contributions made during the Roman Empire. Midyat consists of several sections made of cut stones. Among the most important parts of the building is the Great Church, which is used as the main church. The Dome of Theodora, which uses brick and stone in its construction, is another building that attracts attention with its charming beauty. Besides the religious center, the monastery, which is considered one of the most important centers of the Assyrians, is one of the centers where Syriac and prayer and worship are taught.
Of course, Mardin houses are the sine qua non of Mardin. Mardin houses, which reflect the historical texture and culture of the city in the most beautiful way, are also the focus of attention of domestic and foreign tourists. The houses built on the southern slopes of Mazı Mountain give the city a wonderful view. The Mardin houses, which were built due to the removal of yellow limestone and extreme heat in the city, are also one of the best examples of masonry. Mardin houses protect the summers from the heat and the winters from the cold due to the stone used. Mardin – Midyat buses or taxis are easily accessible on foot from the Mardin houses. Don’t forget to take your camera with you during this authentic trip.