This week we are going to take a look at the old Mardin City located in the South Eastern part of Turkey. Though very few tourists tend to travel to the South East, this ancient city is worth a visit.
This fascinating city offers stunning sandstone cityscape and historical and multicultural heritage. It is also well-known for its excellent wines.
The old city is nestled on a hillside set between the Mesopotamian plains and an Ancient Castle and boasts a stunning view. The city is filled with influences from Turkish, Kurdish, Arab and Assyrian cultures and you will see this through its food, crafts and architecture, which infact reflects the Artukid dynasty which was ruler before the Ottoman.
At trip to the Sakip Sabanci Mardin City Museum is worth a visit. Here you will be able to get an indepth look at the history and culture of Mardin. The museum offers English translations on all of its displays, it also features and art gallery downstairs as well as some great exhibtions showcasing the work of some of Turkey's most important photographers.
There is the Holy Forty Martyrs Church which stands out from the crowd with its beautiful carvings and tranquil inner courtyard. There is always a caretaker on hand if you wish you have a look inside.
Mardin City also has a terrific Bazaar. The bazaar is very lively and gives you a great understanding of the city's daily routines. You will see men walking around with their donkeys, which is the best form of transportation around the city due to its steep and uneven areas.
Another great place to sightsee is the Zinciriye Medresesi which is located in an elevated position overlooking the city. This building was constructed back in 1385. It is a lovely site, it has an inner courtyard with a wonderful water flowing fountain and beautiful carvings in its interior and its main doorway. Take a trip up to the roof top where you will be able to enjoy the incredible view.
If you venture about 10 kilometres to the South East of Maridin you will find the Mor Hananyo Monastery. This place is definately worth a visit due to its architectural significance. The monastery was constructed back in the 5th century and still operates today. It also features a church, a burial chapel and an underground chamber.
Some of the architecture within Mardin City has been renovated into small hotels so tourists will have the chance to stay within the anicent city and get a real feel for its past history.