Places to Visit in Mardin

Mardin, which has a very rich history, has many places to visit and see with its historical mosques, caravanserais, mansions and churches. It is recommended that those who have time should spend 3 days on their Mardin trip.

Historic Mardin houses

Mardin houses built on the southern slopes of Mazı Mountain reflect the historical texture and culture of the city and at the same time, they have always been the centre of attention with its magnificent view. The houses made of yellow limestone extracted in and around Mardin are characterized by being cool in summer and warm in winter. If you want to visit Mardin houses, you can use Midyat buses or taxi.  

Mardin Castle

Although it is not known exactly when the Mardin Castle was built like an eagle’s nest, it is estimated to have a history of 1600 years. Built on rocks, the castle has a magnificent view. The castle, which has been home to many civilizations throughout history, is closed to visitors and efforts are continuing to gain it to tourism.    Those who want to see the castle closely and watch the magnificent Mardin view from the hill and take great pictures are recommended to go to Zinciriye madrasah just below the castle. 

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Great Mosque of Mardin

The mosque built during the Artukid period is regarded as the oldest mosque and symbol of Mardin. Its history dates back to 1176, with its minaret and dome which fascinates those who see it. According to the inscription found in the minaret of the Ulu Mosque, it was built by Kutbuddin Ilgazi the 2nd. The minaret of the mosque, which had 2 minarets in the first construction period, was demolished. The minaret of the mosque was built in 1888-1889.The mosque, which has yellow cut stone walls, has a rectangular structure and has 16 inscriptions belonging to Seljuk, Artuklu, Akkoyunlu and Ottoman periods as well as a small courtyard and fountain.

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Mardin Deyrulzafaran Monastery

The monastery, which is used as a religious centre and school by Syriac citizens, is 5 km away from the centre of Mardin. The monastery takes its colour from the saffron flowers used in its construction.

 The monastery, which had the tomb of 52 Syriac Patriarchs at the entrance, was built as a sun temple. In the Roman period, the monastery was used as a castle and then Virgin Mary church, Saint houses and the domed church was added to it and it was used as a religious centre.

The ceiling of the monastery, which consists of 3 floors, was made by combining the stones without using mortar. 

The monastery, which has a pretty courtyard, is visited free of charge between 08:30 -12: 00 / 13:00 and 17:30 in summer and between 08:30 12:00 / 13: 00-16: 30 in winter.

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Zinciriye Madrasah

The Zinciriye madrasah, built by the Artuklu Sultan Melik Necmettin İsa in 1385, is located just below the Mardin castle. The madrasah is composed of two floors and has a magnificent view of Mardin and the madrasah has a courtyard, mosque and tomb. The madrasah, which is noticed even from a distance, was also used as an observatory in the previous periods. With its sliced domes, stone embroidered architectural structure and historical texture, Mardin are one of the most frequently visited spots. Access to the madrasah is provided by private vehicles or taxis.

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Kırklar (Mor Behnam) Church

The church, built-in 569 on behalf of Mor Behnam and his sister Saro, is located on the 1st street in the centre of Mardin. The church, which is now used as an Orthodox church, is also used as the religious centre of the Syriac people. The church, which has 3 entrance doors, has a courtyard and a bell tower. The craftsmanship engraved on the walls is remarkable.

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Kasımiye Madrasah

The construction of Kasımiye Madrasah, one of the largest buildings in Mardin, started in the 12th century during the Artukid period and was completed by Sultan Kasım, son of Cihangir, the Sultan of Akkoyunlu in the 15th century. It is understood from the medical emblems on the doors of the madrasah that the madrasah was used for medical education for a period. The madrasa, which has a magnificent interior and exterior architecture, was also used as a centre for science and religion education. With more than 800 years of history, the madrasah is one of the most visited spots in Mardin with its walls made of cut stone, a courtyard with a pool and domes.

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The ancient city of Dara

The ancient city of Dara in the village of Oguz, 30 km from Mardin, was founded in 505 by Emperor Anastasius as a military base to defend the eastern border. The ancient city, which is surrounded by 4 km long city walls, includes the castle, rock tombs, ruins of the world first water dam, temple, palace, bazaar, water cisterns, wells, armoury and dungeon. The city was named after the 3rd king of Persia, Dara. As a result of the excavations, 30% of the ancient city was unearthed and 70% is still under the ground. Some of the ancient city, which is expected to have a great appearance when it is revealed, is open to visitors.

Among the places that are suggested to be seen in Dara, there is also the structure called the dungeon. The artefacts found in the archaeological excavations in and around the ancient city are exhibited in the Mardin Museum today.

The ancient city is open to visitors every day between 09: 30-12: 00 / 13:00 and 17:30 except Mondays.

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Mardin Museum

The building which is used as Mardin Museum was built in 1895. The building, which was used as a religious centre, military base, health centre and police station during the period, started to be used as a museum in 1995. Ethnographic and archaeological artefacts belonging to Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman periods, collections and tablets, cylinders, gold, silver and copper coins uncovered in the Mardin region are exhibited in the museum.

The museum, which is closed on Mondays, is paid for visits between 08: 00-19: 00 from 15 April to 2 October between 08: 00-17: 00 between 3 April and 14 April, while museum card holders and persons over 65 years of age can enter free of charge. The museum is located in Shar neighbourhood and can be reached by city buses or on foot.

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Sakıp Sabancı Mardin City Museum

The building where the museum is located was first used as a tax office for military purposes and after the renovation works in 2007, it started to serve as a museum in 2009. On the first floor of the museum, which consists of two floors, the Dilek Sabancı art gallery, where paintings, photographs and works of marbling art are exhibited, and on the second floor is the Sabancı City Museum, where books, photographs, works of Mardin and Mardin region are exhibited. The museum is closed on Mondays and can be visited every day of the week from 08:00 to 17:00 for a small fee.    Address: Gül Neighborhood 1. Street, Republic Area, Central / Mardin

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Monastery of Mor Gabriel (Deyrulumur)
The Mor Gabriel monastery, located in the village of Güngören, 23 km from the town of Midyat, is one of the important structures of the Assyrian community. The building, which was enlarged by additions such as prayer and shelter places at different times, was converted into a monastery during the Roman Empire period.  Although the most important structure of the building, which is made of stone and brick, is the large church and the house of the saints, the dome of Theodora attracts visitors with its charming beauty. The monastery is open from 09:00 to 11:30 / 13:00 to 16:30 in summer and it is open from 09:00 to 11:30 / 13:00 to 16:00. in winter

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Surur Inn

Surur Inn which is known to be built in the 17th and 18th centuries by the Ottoman Empire, is located in the centre of Mardin. Builtin a two-storey rectangular shape, the inn now serves cafes and souvenir shops.

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Virgin Mary Church and Patriarchate

The Patriarchate was built in 1895 and the Virgin Mary Church was built in 1986 by the Patriarch of Antioch, Antuhan Semheri. After the renovation works in 1995, the Patriarchate began to serve as a museum.

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