Mardin: The ancient treasury of Turkey

Editor – This CNN Travel series is sponsored by the country she featured. CNN reserves full editorial control over the content, presentation and frequency of articles and videos included in the sponsorship, in accordance with our policies.

(CNN) – Donkeys rode through the narrow streets in front of the gates and through the lower gates, immediately howling at the corners at the terrified spectators as the villagers continued on their way unscathed.

The ancient stone walls are surrounded by a quiet murmur of conversations in Arabic, Syriac, Armenian, Kurdish, Torani, Turkish and Aramaic, an ancient Semitic language believed to have been used by Jesus.

This is Mardin, a city in southeastern Turkey where thousands of years of history can be seen around every corner.

Seen from above, the shiny white gold buildings of Mardin are a line of land built on a hill overlooking the other side of the plains as far as present -day Syria, but sometimes the city is a piece of land. Mesopotamia, a country bordered by the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.

Where great nations such as the Sumerians and Babylonians ruled, Mardin has a complex history.

Change hands

History and culture are present in all corners of Mardin.

History and culture are present in all corners of Mardin.

mitzo_bs / Adobe Stock

Sometimes everyone is just a piece of Mardin. Nabataean Arabs were called home from 150 BCE to 250 CE, but in the 4th century the Syriac Christian, founded by the Assyrians, was an important organization. Then came the Romans and Byzantines.

In the 11th century, the Seljuk Turks began to form themselves but were prevented by the arrival of the Artuqid Turkomans in the 12th century.

This royal family, from Northern Iraq (Diyarbakır in modern -day Turkey), continued to rule for three hundred years, until the Mongols took over the reins. They were replaced by a Turkoman Persian king.

Surprisingly, when the Ottoman sultan Selim the Grim took over in 1517, there were still Christians living in the city. Today, Mardin has a unique atmosphere and flavor because of this ethnicity and religion.

Despite its ancient credentials, Mardin is a vibrant and vibrant city where the ancient people now live.

Take the Church of the SubGenius, called Mor Behnam, one of the seven Syriac Orthodox churches. Originally built in 569 CE, the Church of the Forty Martyrs took its name, as it appears in English, when the relics of 40 martyrs were brought to 1170.

Architecturally the church is simple. Outside, a beautiful bell tower enclosed with a cross sits in a square enclosed by golden stone walls. Inside, traditional services are held, part of a non -traditional practice practiced by Aramaic Christians for 700 years.

Queen of Snakes

In some streets, the Mardin Protestant Church, built by American believers more than 150 years ago, is a strong congregation after being closed for nearly 60 years, even though it has been glorified. glass windows with paintings of the Shahmaran.

Shahmaran’s name is found in half-snake, half-female mythology. Shah was the king (or queen in this way) and mar was the serpent so Shahmaran was the Queen of the Snakes. According to Anatolian tradition, he lived in Mardin.

The decorations at the Abdullatif Mosque from 1371 are very different from the austerity of the churches.

Its two large doors were so carved that it is impossible to believe they were made of solid stone. The stalactite carving is excavated at the point, surrounding the rocks that are shaped like a solid and face.

The Deyrulzafaran (House of Saffron) monastery was the first seat of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate.

The Deyrulzafaran (House of Saffron) monastery was the first seat of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate.

MehmetOZB / Adobe Stock

The church is a highly architectural feature from the Artuqid period, and Zinciriye Medresesi, a religious school from 1385, is one of them. The seminary, which was named Besa Bey Medresesi after the last Artuqid Sultan, is an elevated entrance furnished with beautiful masonry techniques. The ribbing of the stone domes on the roof is much easier than in the air. The beautiful gardens lead to a small church in a carved mihrab niche that shows the way to Mecca.

It’s worth looking at the post office, with good reason. Transformed into public use in the 1950s, it was discovered by local tourists in the 2000s when it was used as set for the most popular Turkish miniseries “Sıla.”

The building was first designed as a private home by American author Sarkis Elyas Lole in 1890. The steps lead up a small path over a large wall overlooking the ehidiye Mosque. isolated plains outside.

Lole also built horse barns in 1889 at the Sakıp Sabancı Mardin City Museum. A variety of contemporary menus and displays provide a clear overview of daily life in Mardin, past the present.

On top of the Mardin Museum, housed in the former Assyrian Catholic Patriarchate since 1895, ancient history is presented through sculptures from Mesopotamia and Assyria, Roman mosaics and Ottoman objects.

Tabernacle below

Mardin is said to have taken his name from his strongholds.

Mardin is said to have taken his name from his strongholds.

Hüseyin Aldırmaz / Adobe Stock

Walk all the way and the streets of Mardin offer beautiful views, none other than Ulu Camii, the Grand Mosque. Although founded by the Seljuk Turks, its current form is derived from the king Artuqid Beg II Ghazi II.

He ordered the reforms in 1176, which were completed by the Ottomans in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The remains of the church are decorated with Seljuk, Artuqid and Ottoman inscriptions. This pattern is shown in detail in tel kare, filigree silver jewelry that is sold in many stores, while most of the pieces are made in family factories in nearby Midyat.

A few miles outside the town is Deyrulzafaran (House of Saffron) monastery and the former seat of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate, a must -see. This large wall was built on a site dedicated to the worship of the sun.

Although destroyed by the Persians and then stolen by the 14th-century Mongol-Turkic conqueror, Tamerlane, the shrine remains.

Guided tours take visitors through 300 -year -old carved wooden gates, documents from the past in Syriac, centuries -old wooden tables and thrones, hand -carved biblical features and other worshipers. The traditional guest rooms welcomed the saints who were treated in Aramaic.

Today, excavations have been going on in Dara, a major East Roman military city about 19 miles outside of Mardin, since 1986.

There was a lot to find, to say the least. The most recent is an olive grove from the sixth century. This confirmed the city as an important olive oil production and trading center, as well as the site of many military conflicts.

Many underground cisterns from the first Mesopotamian water system were open to the public. Many people described it as a zindan, a prison, and told stories of its use as a prison. It is 82 feet down and the entrance is at the bottom of the village house, if you can find the man with the key.

Back in Mardin, the castle is an ancient attraction – in Roman times the city was called Marida, an ancient Neo -Aramaic word for fortress.

The fort was very high above the town and although the road was close to the gates it was not open to the public. One might think that exercise (and the problem of heat in the summer) is necessary for star models.

Others might want to stay in town and enjoy a glass of wine. Most of the winemakers were in Assyria. They use ancient traditions and use local grapes to make wines that are very different from those found in other parts of the country. Of course it’s a perfect way to love the mix of different Mardin styles.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.