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Tourist Places To Visit In Mardin
Mardin is located in eastern Turkey and shares a border with Syria. It is a cultural blend of Assyrian, Persian, Roman, Syriac, Mongolian and Turkish ways of life among many others. The tourist places to see in Mardin mainly consist of historically rich places as the city goes as far back as 1300 BC. The beauty of the place lies in the architecture of its old city and the strategic location of being built on the steep slopes of a hill near the Tigris River. Here are some of the most brilliant tourist places one must visit in Mardin.
The first stop on your list has to be the beautiful Zinciriye Medresesi, which is one of the best-preserved buildings in Mardin. Dating back to 1385, this theological college was founded by İsa Bey. You will find a domed mosque, 2 inner courtyards and a mausoleum within the complex here. However, the highlight is the decorated doorway which is a fine example of Islamic artistry. You also get sweeping panoramic views of the town from the very top, which is not to be missed.
The Mardin Museum is a small museum, but well worth the visit. The building in which it is housed used to be a stone mansion of the 19th century, with beautiful pillars and grand courtyards, before it was converted into a museum. The highlights of the collection on display is the 7th century BC Assyrian and Bronze age finds. Another interesting exhibit is the Art Museum in the lower level, where sketches from an Ottoman Traveller's diary are on display.
The Kasımiye Medresesi is a 15th-century theological college. Set around the courtyard are the buildings where students used to live and study and also within the complex is a domed mosque. The entire place has a calming and spiritual effect on you and you get a better understanding of how the college must have functioned all those centuries ago. There are also some stunning stone-carvings on the doorway and don't forget to visit the rooftop for a splendid view of the old city.
The Mardin Castle is set at the topmost point on the hill and towers above the rest of the city. To reach there, it is a climb, so avoid walking up in the afternoon when the sun is too hot. The castle was built during the Roman era and extended sometime in the 15th century. At the entrance, a relief carving of 2 lions still stands strong. You may require additional permission to access the castle remains.
Located 7 km away from Mardin, this monastery was built over an Assyrian sun temple and dates back to the 5th century. The monastery was destroyed twice but has been restored since. The complex has 3 churches, where the only 13th-century remaining fresco can be seen. There is also an underground Sanctuary chamber and crypt which is the last resting place of all the prior bishops (57 of them!). The tour guides mainly speak Turkish. However, you can still get a feel of the place and understand its basic history even if you can't find an English speaking guide.
Dara was an ancient Roman fortress city which featured in the 6th century as the battle of Dara between the Romans and the Persians. It is located towards the south of Mardin, at a distance of around 31 km. The highlight of the ruins is the Roman aqueduct system, with towers that used to be filled with water.
Tür Abdin Monasteries
Tür Abdin is a region towards the south-east of Mardin. The name suggests that it is the Mountain Of the Servants of God. The people of Tur Abdin call themselves Suroye and are of Assyrian and Aramean community. There are many Syrian Orthodox churches & monasteries here, including the Deyrulzafaran. In fact, from the Byzantine era up to the medieval period, over 80 monasteries were established.
Great Mosque of Mardin
The Ulu Mosque, also known as the Great Mosque, is the symbol of Mardin. It was constructed in the 11th century by the Seljuks. It is located in the bazaar neighbourhood of the old city. The highlight of this structure is the beautiful stone carvings on the minaret.