Possibly built on the site of the temple for the God of the moon... this fortress was restored just in the nick of time for the Crusaders approach. The crusaders, as we know, won and kept the fortress going until they got bored and moved on.
I clearly did not read and digest my Lonely Planet well enough because it was only on leaving Harran I realised we could have actually gone inside the fortress... I could have kicked myself!
In the late 8th and 9th centuries Harran became a centre for translating works of astronomy, philosophy, natural sciences, and medicine from Greek to Syriac and then into Arabic. Many important scholars possibly even Jābir ibn Hayyān, the alchemist.
The ruins of the university are here for anybody to see and go look at. For me, viewing them from afar was good enough - the temperature here in August was so intolerably hot I thought my blood would boil... better to drink a cold bottle of water in the shade and view from a distance!
These houses are constructed entirely from adobe and without the use of any wood. The method of makng them has remained unchanged for approximately 3000 years. These house are unique to Turkey and northern Syria.
None of the beehive houses are actually lived in now but they can be visited.
The Harran Kultur Evi allows you to wander around inside and out. You can feel how comfortably cool the houses are inside, buy from a small selection of scarves (TIP: if you do not have a headscarf with you and you are continuing to Sanliurfa... it is a good and relatively cheap place to buy one), you can sip cool drinks and, should you so desire, you can dress up from a whole variety of clothing and take some photos!!!
It is nice to be able to have a wander through one of these adobe abodes but, The Harran Kultur Evi has one (or two, or three or maybe even five) too many waon wheels scattered about it's courtyards! Clearly never having heard of less in more the people in charge (who are very nice and friendly) have opted for cramming as many artefacts around the place as possible!
The mud - adobe houses, shaped like behives are typical examples of housing in Harran.
They are surprisingly quite cool inside, offering welcome relief from the blazing summer heat.
I was shown around my 'guides' home, which i was amazed to see had a computer and large television set! Also some traditional Turkish rugs and paintings/photographs.
among remnants of ancient surrounding wall,remain a well preserved door:alep gate.
when arriving from sanliurfa,it's the first monument you meet.
silk road caravans broke their journey here.