Constructed over many centuries, the monastic buildings of Deyrulzafaran are where monks live and study. Although very few do so these days, at one time during its history the monastery would have hosted hundreds of monks. It is said that the monastery has 365 rooms, one for each day of the year! The architecture of the monastic buildings is simple...more
Visitors to Deyrulzafaran enter through this purposefully built structure. It was built in recent decades, though in a style similar to the older structures, to host visitors. It is complete with souvernir shops, a café, and an exhibition (with photos of various Suriani churches around the Tur Abdin region). A ticket booth lies outside, on the...more
Erected above the pagan temple of the sun, this impressive domed structure dates from the late Roman period (4th century AD?), and pre-dates the establishment of the monastery. It was originally a church, built over the temple as Christianity replaced paganism in the region, but as the monastery expanded in later centuries, the church was turned...more
Thought to have been built around 1000 BC, this underground chamber was once a pagan temple dedicated to the worship of the Semitic sun god, Shamash. The site it is on was probably used for worship much earlier than its construction (some say as far back as 4000 BC!). The structure is built from large blocks of stone, without the use of mortar. At...more
The Monastery of Deyrulzafaran has two courtyards within it. The smaller one leads into Beth Qadishé and the Temple of the Sun God, and contains some archaeloogical remains, including bases of columns. The larger court is surrounded by an arcade and the main buildings and churches of the monastery. It is also the centre of daily life, where the...more
The Monastery of Deyrulzafarn lies some 5 kms south-east of Mardin, past the small village of Eskikale. It is close enough for a (long) hike, for those who want the adventure, but Mardin has plenty of taxis that would be willing to take you there and back. If you have your own rented car, as we did, then it is even easier to reach.
Please refer to the Local Customs tips on my Tur Abdin page for a perspective on the Suriani and the Syriac Orthodox Church.