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Most Viewed Off The Beaten Path in Mardin Ili

  • terrycowan's Profile Photo

    Church of St. Demetrios

    by terrycowan Written Nov 2, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The village of Izbirak is located on a knoll, on the north side of the road leading from Midyat to Dargecit (opposite of the turn-off to Meryama Kilesesi). It was once a Christian village, but all the inhabitants were forced to flee during the Kurdish troubles. The village seems eerily like a ghost town, though apparently 8 Kurdish family have taken up the formerly Christian homes.

    At the top of the knoll is the Church of St. Demetrios, enclosed by old fortifications. The only inhabitants of the compound are an aged priest (Fr. Jakob, I believe) and a nun. A student from Germany was staying there, temporarily, as well. Fr. Jakob gave us a tour of the church, which is unadorned outside of the altar, on the inside. Outside of repairing the roof after the Mongol invasion during the 1300s, the church is much as it has been since the 6th or 7th century. Carvings in underground room indicate a Christian presence here even far earlier.

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