Mardin Travel Guide: 14 Must-See Places in Mardin
Mardin, one of the prominent destinations of Mesopotamia, the fertile land between the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, is a cultural mosaic! Let’s discover the places to visit in Mardin together, where you will feel like you are on a journey through history while exploring the buildings, each of which belongs to a different civilization.
When to go to Mardin?
The winters of Mardin, which is in the continental climate zone, are quite cold and the summers are dry. For this reason, we recommend you to visit Mardin between April, May and September, October.
Cradle of Civilizations Mardin Travel Guide
The Mesopotamian Civilization, one of the world’s first settlements, was founded in the legendary land of Mardin. There are many places you can visit and see in Mardin, which is a blend of culture due to hosting many civilizations throughout its history.
1- Mardin Houses
Mardin Houses, which have the appearance of a work of art, were built from the yellow limestone stone of the region. The most prominent feature of these stones used in the construction is that they do not reflect the climate conditions outside according to the climate of Mardin. These houses, built on the slopes of Mount Thuja, have a fascinating appearance.
2- Mardin Castle
This military structure, which has a history of 1,600 years, has been used by all civilizations living in the region due to its location. Mardin Castle, also known as the Eagle’s Nest, gained its current appearance in the 10th century during the Hamdanid period.
3- Mardin Museum
In addition to the artifacts in the museum, the museum building also has an impressive historical background. Built in 1895 by the Patriarch of Antakya Ignatios Behram Banni as the Assyrian Catholic Patriarchate, the building has been used as the Mardin Museum since 1995. The museum exhibits artifacts and finds from all civilizations that ruled from the Assyrian period to the Ottoman Empire. In the museum, which has two different sections as archeology and ethnography, you can see the artifacts of sociological and cultural elements closely.
4- Sakıp Sabancı Mardin City Museum
The Sakıp Sabancı Mardin City Museum in the center of Mardin exhibits artifacts reflecting the traditions and customs of the city’s historical journey. Artifacts reflecting Mardin’s traditions and customs such as weaving, stone carving, jewelry making, local clothing are exhibited. At the same time, the museum has the status of a private museum and educational programs, seminars and conferences are held in addition to the exhibited artifacts.
5- Revaklı Bazaar
One of the most important places to visit on a trip to Mardin is the Bazaar with Porticoes. Also known as Sipahiler and Tellaklar, the porticoes that give the bazaar its name are located on both sides of the road. There are shops lined up behind these porticoes where you can find handmade items and other items unique to Mardin.
6- Şehidiye Mosque
Built in 1214 by Melik Mansur Nasreddin Aslan, there is also a madrasah with the same name right behind the Şehidiye Mosque. The minaret of this building, which is located opposite the old post office building on 1st Street, where the museums are located, was built by Armenian architect Serkis Lole in 1916 with a combination of various styles.
7- Mardin Great Mosque
Mardin Ulu Cami, one of the symbols of Mardin, was built in 1176 when the Artuqids took place on the stage of history. One of the most prominent examples of Artuqid architecture, the religious building has a large courtyard.
8- Kasımiye Madrasa
Unfortunately, Kasımiye Madrasa, another building from the Artuqid period, was left unfinished due to the Mongol attacks led by Timur. In the 15th century, it was completed by the ruler of the Akkoyunlu State, Kasım Ibn Cihangir. One of the rare examples of Artuqid stonemasonry, we recommend you to visit it during your visit to Mardin.
9- Zinciriye Madrasa
Zinciriye Madrasa, formerly known as Sultan Isa Madrasa, was given its current name by the people of Mardin. Consisting of two floors, the building has a mausoleum, a mosque and a large courtyard. You can add Zinciriye Madrasa, which has survived intact until today, to your list of places to visit.
10- Kirklar Church
The historical church takes its name from the 40 soldiers who rebelled against the Roman Emperor Dokias, who oppressed Christians in the 3rd century, and were therefore exiled to Sivas, where they froze to death. Built by the Assyrians in 569 in the name of Mor Behnam and his sister Saro, the building was converted into a mosque in the 12th century and is now known as Kırklar Church. Root-printed curtains, the bell tower and the masterful stonework on the walls are remarkable.
11- Deyrulzafaran Monastery
Deyrulzafaran Monastery, built in the 5th century AD in a destination overlooking the Mardin Plain, is one of the most important centers for Assyrians. The building’s domes, stone embroidery on the interior and exterior walls, columns and wooden handicrafts are extremely remarkable.
12- Mor Gabriel Monastery
Located about half an hour away from Midyat, Mor Gabriel Monastery draws as much attention as its surroundings surrounded by oak trees. Built in 397 from Mardin cut stones, the monastery stands out with Byzantine mosaics, domes, doors and stone carvings. Theodora Dome is one of the parts of the building that attracts attention with its fascinating beauty. Declared as the ‘second Jerusalem’ by the Assyrian Church, the monastery has maintained its importance throughout the ages.
Located on the road connecting Midyat and Nusaybin districts, Beyazsu Stream flows into Nusaybin and is seen as a symbol of fertility in the mostly barren land. Beyazsu, which meets the water needs of the whole Mardin due to its fresh water, flows at the same speed on all days of the year. There are many establishments along the stream where you can eat fish and relax.
14- Dara Ancient City
Today, only 30% of the ancient city, which is considered the Ephesus of Mesopotamia, has been unearthed. It is thought that the city, whose exact date of foundation cannot be determined, was founded by the Persians in the 3rd century. Among the artifacts unearthed so far in the ancient city of Dara, where excavations continue, are tombs, bridges, cisterns and city walls. We strongly recommend you to see the ancient city of Dara, where you can see the historical texture of the region closely.
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