Mardin: A city representing Anatolia's rich culture

With its nature, architecture, history and donkeys, the southeastern city of Mardin is certainly a destination that will expand your understanding of Anatolia's cultural melting pot

Mardin is a city that combines its rich, mystical and historical heritage with modernity. The city, situated in the south-east of Turkey has bazaars, museums, historic inns, stone houses, silver jewellery and artefacts. As one of the most distinctive cities in Turkey, Mardin has preserved well the cultural influences of various dynasties throughout the history of the country.

The city's historic buildings such as mosques, shrines, churches, monasteries and travellers' inns reflect different religious beliefs and have high artistic value. The city hosts buildings which have been listed as world heritage sites.

During your stay, remember to taste the delicious local cuisine and to buy some of the beautiful jewellery in the bazaars. Also during your trip, you can listen to some of the traditional songs about Mardin to enrich your experience.

Mardin is on the Syrian borders and is situated in the southeastern Anatolia region of Turkey. It is one of the country's most populated cities. Apart from a few districts this province generally experiences a continental climate, with freezing winters and blazing summers.

The city's revenue relies on agriculture, farming, livestock and commerce. Every year thousands of domestic and overseas tourists flock to this historic town and as a result, the city's cultural tourism is also thriving.

A tour of Mardin can begin with a visit to the city centre; it is possible to visit the Kasimiye Medrese, the Mor Behnam (Kirklar) Church, the Great Mosque, Mardin Museum, the Old Bazaar, the Susur Inn, the Deyrulzafaran Monastery and the Ancient City of Dara.

Mardin's Bazaars...

Mardin's rambling commercial hub is situated down the hill. Donkeys are still a main form of transport; look out for saddle repairers resurrecting even the shabbiest examples.

Make time for the secluded Ulu Cami, a 12th-century Iraqi Seljuk structure that suffered badly during the Kurdish rebellion of 1832. Inside it's fairly plain, but the delicate reliefs adorning the minaret make a visit worthwhile.

Forty Martyrs Church...

This church dates back to the 4th century, and was renamed in the 15th century to commemorate Cappadocian martyrs, now remembered in the fine carvings above the entrance. Services are held here each sunday, and there's a wonderful inner courtyard.

Mardin's stone houses resemble those in the northern Syria, and, the way the rooms were laid out, provides a view of an inner courtyard. In Mardin, you can also find half open spaces such as porticoes and "iwans", built to provide shade.

Visiting Mardin will be undoubtedly surprising and fascinating, leaving your photo album full of great memories.