Today, we are going to introduce to you a magical and epic city of Turkey. So, welcome to Mardin! Mardin is the shining city of Mesopotamia. Moreover, the city where calls to prayer echo with church bell sounds. Imaginably, Mardin is a timeless poetic city. The delicate spirit of the mason’s hands created the city’s beauty that gave form to its stones. Mardin is one of the oldest cities of upper Mesopotamia. The city is located in the Southeastern Anatolia region of Turkey. After all, time travel in Mardin is no more a dream. Mardin is a truly enchanting city and adds a different colour to Turkish tourism with its beautiful architecture, as well as varied ethnography, archaeological wonders, historical heritage and visual values.
During the summer or winter, doesn’t matter, there are plenty of places to visit in Turkey. In addition to that, you can visit Mardin in any season you wish! But, if you want to avoid the crowd and the hot, then autumn or winter may be the best time for you to land in Mardin!
So, undoubtedly, Mardin is one of those such places to visit in Turkey. Therefore, you can start making your travel plan with Mardin city at the top of your list!
The Top-Attraction in Historical Mardin City
Among thousands of thing to say for Mardin, there is one thing must be at the top of the list. As the city is a fascinating cultural meeting point with different nationalities and beliefs. For instance, Kurdish, Yezidi, Christian and Syria Armenian cultures are living together here.
So, here is our list of places to see and visit in Mardin. Enjoy!
1- Mardin Bazaar
Mardin’s rambling commercial hub parallels 1st Street. The bazaar is one block down the hill. It’s packed with metalworkers, donkey-saddle repairers, woodworkers, stores selling pots and pans, little teahouses and the odd souvenir.
The location: Mardin Bazaar
2- Mardin Museum
This superbly restored late-19th-century mansion was once Mardin’s Syriac Catholic Patriarchate. And sports carved pillars and elegant arcades on the upper floor. Today it houses Mardin’s archaeological collection with well-curated exhibits. The exhibits include finds from the salvage excavations of archaeological sites. The construction of the Ilısu Dam destroyed it and a beautifully exhibited collection of idols and cult vessels. Many of them remained from the Bronze Age site of Girnavaz, in the Beliefs Hall.
Moreover, there is a good cafe on the museum’s terrace.
The location: Mardin Museum
3- Sultan İsa (Zinciriye) Medresesi
Dating from 1385, this medrese (seminary) complex’s highlight is the imposing recessed doorway. But make sure you wander through the pretty courtyards and visit the small mosque with its ornately carved mihrab (niche indicating the direction of Mecca). Arrive before 4 pm if you want to head onto the roof to enjoy the cityscape as the guardian often locks it after then.
The location: Sultan İsa (Zinciriye) Medresesi
4- Sakıp Sabancı Mardin City Museum
Housed in former army barracks, this superb museum showcases the fascinating history and culture of Mardin. Excellent English-language translations and effective use of audio and video reinforce how cosmopolitan and multicultural the city’s past was. Downstairs is used as an art gallery for a rotating series of exhibitions, often including images by iconic Turkish photographers.
The location: Sakıp Sabancı Mardin City Museum
5- Deyrul Zafaran
The magnificent Deyrul Zafaran stands about 6km along a good but narrow road in the rocky hills east of Mardin. The monastery was once the seat of the Syriac Orthodox patriarchate but this has now moved to Damascus.
In 495 the first monastery was built on a site previously dedicated to the worship of the sun. Destroyed by the Persians in 607, it was rebuilt, only to be looted by Tamerlane six centuries later. Visits are by guided tour only.
There’s no public transport here so you must take a taxi or walk around 90 minutes from Mardin. Taxi drivers in Mardin charge around ₺60 to run you there and back or ₺180 for a combined Deyrul Zafaran and Dara trip. Try and visit on a weekday or the monastic hush could be disturbed by busloads of Turkish tourists.
The location: Deyrul Zafaran
6- Kasımıye Medresesi (Seminary)
Kasımıye Medresesi was built in 1469, two domes stand over the tombs of Kasım Paşa and his sister at this old medrese (seminary) complex. But the highlights are the courtyard with arched colonnades and a magnificently carved doorway. Upstairs see the students’ quarters, before ascending for one of Mardin’s great rooftop panoramas. Get there before 4 pm as that’s when the guardian usually locks the upstairs section. It’s signposted 800m south of Yeni Yol.
The location: Kasımıye Medresesi (Seminary)
7- Forty Martyrs Church
This church dates back to the 4th century and was renamed in the 15th century to commemorate Cappadocian martyrs. People now remember the martyrs in the fine carvings above the entrance. The compact church interior is home to some beautiful paintings and there’s a tranquil inner courtyard. Services are held here each Sunday. Photography is not allowed inside the church.
The location: Forty Martyrs Church
How Can I Go to Mardin?
So, here is the question. Mardin city is very far away from western cities of Turkey via highway. Because of its location, using airway is the best option. In this respect, you can find many departures from megacities of Turkey such as Istanbul, Ankara or Izmir. And, the journey approximately takes around 2 hours by plane.
What To Buy From Mardin as a Gift?
Among many things to buy from Mardin, here are some of the principles which will remind you of the beautiful Mardin.
- Mardin Soaps: This soap is made from the oil of the leaf of the raw form of a peanut. So, you can even smell it when you wander around the city’s streets. Bıttım Sabunu (Bıttım Soap), by the way, is the most famous one.
- Blue Sugared Almonds: So, blue sugared almond is both special and economic present for your loved ones. And moreover, its blue colour comes from because of the colour at the base of Lahor plant. Furthermore, it smells amazing!
- Mardin Assyrian Wine: Winemaking in the Upper Mesopotamia enjoys a very long history. Furthermore, the roots of it go back several millennia. So, you must consider taking a bottle of red or white wine with you before you return.
Where to Stay in Mardin?
1- Kadim Boutique Hotel: 239 Sokak 18 off 1 Caddesi 0.37 km to the city centre.
Tel: 0482-212 3322
2- Kaya Ninova Hotel: Sar Mahallesi 239 Bademci Sokak No:1 1 Cadde 0.30 km to the city centre.
Tel: 0482-212 5015
3- Zinciriye Hotel: Medrese Mah. 243 Sk. No:13 Merkez 0.06 km to the city centre.
Plus: The following video has been prepared by the Mardin Museum. So, the video aims to show that integrity and harmony of languages and cultures in Mardin. Here is the “Sounds of Mardin.”
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