Mardin Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by Askla
  • Things to Do
    by Askla
  • Things to Do
    by Askla

Most Recent Things to Do in Mardin

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    Atatürk Statue.

    by Askla Written Jun 30, 2014

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    As in all Turkish towns (I believe there are in all) there is a statue of Atatürk also in Mardin. You find it in the square in front of Mardin Muzeum.

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    Melik Mahmut Camii.

    by Askla Written Jun 30, 2014

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    Melik Mahmut Camii was built in 1362, as a plaque at the entrance says. The mosque is well known for its decorative stonework.
    It sits on a small square where you leave Cumhuriyet Caddesi to get to Hatuniye Medrasa.
    I could not get inside or take any photos from the outside. This was thr only place in Turkey where the atmosphere at a mosque was not friendly at all.
    Melik Mahmut was a leader of the Artukid Turkish dynasty,

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    Hatuniye Medrasa.

    by Askla Written Jun 30, 2014

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    Hatuniye Medrasa sits in the eastern residential area below the outcrop. The way leading from Cumhuriyet Caddesi to it is steep with a lot of stairs. Inside the medrasa there are two coffins, one of which contains the remains of Sitti Radiviyye who has given the other name to the medrasa, Sitti Radviye Madrasa. The other coffin contains the remains of Kutbettin Ilgazi, her son.
    There is also a showcase on one of the walls showing what is said to be a footprint of the Prophet Mohammad.
    The medrasa was built between 1176 and 1184.

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    The Mesopotamian Plateau.

    by Askla Written Jun 29, 2014

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    Who hasn't read about Mesopotamia in the school history? The very name is just STEEPED in history! That was the main reason for me to go Mardin, to get to see the Mesopotamian Plateau - the land between Eufrat and Tigris. But this area is just the northern part of the plateau. The main part is in Iraq.
    There has been several milion articles written about Mesopotamia, I will just mention some of the most well known folk groups living there in ancient times like the Sumers, Assyrians and Babylonians. The area is regarded as the birthplace of civilisations - in competition with the old China then and their Zhou dynasti for instance.

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    Deyrulzafaran Monastery.

    by Askla Written Jun 29, 2014

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    Deyrulzafaran Monastery, also known as Mor Hananyo Monastery, was built in 493. It is the oldest still working monastery in the world. It's a very easy trip there with taxi. It sits about 5km east of Mardin. The road trip is quite spectacular.
    There isn't much use in me writing about the history since you will get to an excellent page by clicking here.

    I was very disappointed when I visited. The first impression is that it is all now very commersielized. Among the first I saw was a jewellery shop! At a monastery!! Have I missed some of the changes of wind lately? I had read quite a lot about the guided tours, that they were excellent and informative, led by a young man in a tempo which allowed everyone to look at the things. It was also said he was good at English. Nothing of this was true when I was there anyway. The whole tour took no more than 10 min, if even that much. We didn't come to see the throne, which is very old with the names of all the previous patriarchs from 792 carved on the side. And it was all i Turkish.One of the other participants told me in German that he, the guide, didn't speak English more than a couple of words. When it was all finished I didn't know it actually was finished. All the others just went away! So I was alone with the guide. NOW he tried to speak a little in English. I asked if he was the only guide. That made him very happy! He greated me a lot for that..... Oh dear, what a wasted time and money this was.

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    Sehidiye Camii.

    by Askla Written Jun 29, 2014

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    Sehidiye Camii (mosque). The madrasa and mosque were built in 1214 by Sultan Melik Nasruddin Artuk Aslan, who is also buried here. The ornately carved minaret was built in 1916-17 and is different in style compared to the rest of the structure, with its ribbings, twisting pilasters and two balconies.

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    Great Mosque (Ulu Camii).

    by Askla Written Jun 29, 2014

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    The Great Mosque, Ulu Camii in Turkish, was built in the 12th century. It suffered badly during a rebellion in 1832. A mine blowed the minaret so it had to be rebuilt to its former design, which makes it worth a stop to admire the minaret from a little distance. Also the ribbed dome is very beautiful. The inside is hardly anything to talk about, there is fairly no decoration at all.

    I did not visit, so no photos whatsoever, alas.

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    The Cobblestone lanes of old Mardin

    by June.b Written Mar 29, 2013
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    While searching for the highlights – mosques, madrasas, churches, bedestans, hamam, etc – of the old part of Mardin, you will be wandering around walking through the cobbled stone streets and narrow lanes layered around the steep rock mountain all overlooking the green Mesopotamian plains.

    The lanes are quite quaint and charming and walking around is an itinerary in itself. Some lanes have arched tunnels under houses. You’ll encounter local people doing their daily chores and an occasional hello, welcome or merhaba every now and then. Walking along the streets are like walking in an enchanted town, a labyrinth that offers a sense of a 4,000 years of history with exciting sights at every turn of a corner.

    The people are used to tourists wandering the streets, although in my personal opinion the people in Midyat are friendlier.

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    The Old Houses of Mardin

    by June.b Written Mar 29, 2013
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    Mardin is famous for its old town on top of the mountain lined with its historic golden honey coloured houses made of limestones which are pretty enhanced during sunset. The houses are built in layers on the sides of the rock steep mountain. It’s a magical setting or fairy tale if I may use the adjective, with the castle perched on top, you could easily imagine the distant past of a kingdom with its king’s castle on the high hill with its constituents residing around it.

    Most of the houses which are decorated with ornate old carvings are big enough to fit extended family members.

    Here’s a trivia --- Houses that have a carved picture of the Kaaba in Makkah on its doors means that the owner has already made the pilgrimage to Makkah.

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    Melik Mahmut Mosque

    by June.b Written Mar 29, 2013
    Melik Mahmut Mosque
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    Melik Mahmut Mosque, also called Bab’es Sur was built during the 14th century. It is known for its large gate which features elaborate stonework.

    According to an inscription, it was built in the third quarter of the 14th century. The main portal facing the main square and road is an elaborately decorated stonework. The mosque has a central dome and is flanked by two barrel-vaulted sections.

    The empty square mausoleum of Melik Mahmut is located in the courtyard.

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    Sehidiye Medresse and Mosque

    by June.b Written Mar 29, 2013
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    The mosque and madrasa (Islamic school) was built by Sultan Melik Nasruddin Artuk Aslan in 1214

    The madrasa has a courtyard surrounded by porticos, several iwans, and a mosque. The ribbed and intricately carved minaret with two balconies was added later between 1916-1917 hence it contrasted in style to the rest of the structure.

    There is a big elevated terrace on the right side serving as an open air café.

    Sultan Atuk Aslan was buried in this madrasa.

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    Zinciriye Medresesi

    by June.b Written Mar 29, 2013
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    I walked along the main road and just infront of the Cig Kofte – the building with layers of terraces there is a long wide stairs going up so I climbed it and there it is the intricately decorated gate of the madrasa.

    The madrasa (Islamic school) is constructed in 1385 by Melik Necmeddin Isa Bin Muzaffer Davud Bin El Melik Salih – Sultan Isa for short.

    It is a large complex that includes a mosque and the tomb of Sultan Isa. The two storey building houses two courtyards in its 2 levels, a mosque, mausoleum and other chambers. There are beautiful ribbed domes on both ends of the roof and a high massive portal to the east. It served also as an observatory owing to its high elevated position. In the middle of the courtyard passed the arched porticos is a fountain.

    The madrasa used to be the old Mardin Museum until it was transferred to the new (church) building along the main Cumhuriyet Cad.

    At some point in history when Tamerlane – the founder of Timurid Dynasty – conquered Mardin, Sultan Isa was imprisoned in this madrasa.

    From the courtyard of the second level, you can have a good view of Mardin castle above.

    Entry is free.

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    Ulu Camii (Grand Mosque)

    by June.b Written Mar 28, 2013
    Ulu Camii Minaret and dome.
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    Every city in Turkey has its grand mosque and Mardin is no exception. The grand mosque of Mardin is located further down the edge of the mountain so much so that looking at it from above a distance, the several green mounds of plains below serves as a dramatic background including the horizons which I believe is where the country of Syria lies.

    The grand mosque was built during the 12th century by the ruler of the Artukid Turks, Qutb ad-din Ilghazi. Its tall Artuqid minaret dominates the skyline of the city. It is divided into four decorative sections with carved rings and a muqarnas balcony. Kufic compositions inscribed in tear drop motifs and medallions adorn the lower two sections, while the third section and the octagonal tower above the balcony are decorated simply with blind niches and arcades framed by carved moldings.

    There were originally two minarets, but one collapsed many centuries ago. The ribbed dome is quite interesting against the seemingly endless horizon.

    I went to this coffee teahouse with an entrance along the Cumhuriyet Cadessi as you will have a really nice view of the minaret and the dome on top of the mosque, against the plains.

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    Kasim Tugmaner Mosque

    by June.b Written Mar 28, 2013
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    This mosque along the main thoroughfare of Cumhuriyet Cad. is built on the foundation of an old church. Built in 1960, the arched entrance is intricately decorated with flowers in vines and geometric designs and a two stars on both sides. Some Arabic inscriptions too around the name of the mosque.

    One minaret is attached on one side of the mosque.

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    Mardin Castle

    by June.b Written Mar 28, 2013
    Mardin Castle
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    Up to the time of visit, the 3,000 years old castle is closed to the public at least for the past 50 years. Because of its strategic position – at more than 1,000 meteres high from the ground level – it was deployed by NATO during the cold war, and was used by Air Radar Position Commandership for 50 years.

    The castle, which has hosted Subari, Sumerian, Babylonian, Mitanni, Assyrian, Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Ummayad, Abbasid, Hamdani, Seljuk, Artuqid, Qaraqoyunlu, Akkoyunlu and Safavid rulers and the Ottoman sultan, was never conquered by any other army. It was besieged several times but never occupied.

    Plans has it that it will undergo a TL20 million worth of restoration and will then be opened to the public to attract more tourists to come to Mardin.

    This is a long awaited moment for the people of Mardin and for tourists as well.

    But for the moment – getting beyond the prohibited boundaries surrounding the castle is strictly prohibited and will put tourist crossing the line in danger from possible military assault.

    I just content myself getting to the best possible distance that I could have a good view of the castle above from below.

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