Zinciriye Madrasa (Turkish Zinciriye Medresesi) also known as Sultan Isa Madrasa is one of the most beautiful historical sights in the old part of Mardin. It was build in 1385 Melik Necmeddin Isa bin Muzaffer Davud bin El Melik Salih. He was last Sultan from the Artuqid dynasty ruling in Mardin. The basic principles of the original Mardin architectural style were formed in the time of the Artuqids.
Savur is a small town in Turkey located at the north of Tur Abdin plateau 45 kilometers from the historical part of Mardin 900 meters above sea level. Stone houses in the center of Savur are very similar to houses in the old part of Mardin so this town is often called “small Mardin”.
Mor Behnam (Kırklar Kilisesi) church is one of the most significant historical sites in the old part of Mardin. It is located the Şar Neighbourhood of the city centre where nowadays many Christians are still living. This church was constructed in 569 and consecrated in honor of Syriac Saint Behnam and his sister Saro.
Mardin Castle is standing on the hill dominating the old town and crowned with superb stonework. It was founded more than 3000 years ago and became the point around which the city began to grow. The castle even gave the modern name to the city.
Located southwest of the old part of city Kasımiye Medrese is amongst the most significant historical sights of Mardin. Also its one of the best examples of the local Artuklu architecture style. The edifice is interesting due to its design, masonry and ornamentation.
Van Otlu Peynir (Van herbed cheese) is a special type of cheese originating from the Lake of Van area. It is made from sheep’s milk with addition of herbs. About 25 different weeds can be used for production of this cheese. The main ones are: sirmo, mendi, heliz, wild mint and thyme.
This zawiya was build on the small hill in the memory of Imam Abdullah, which comes from the descent of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. He was very respected by people so his tomb was extended and became a kulliye.
Winemaking in the Upper Mesopotamia enjoys a very long history and the roots of it go back more than six millennia. The spread of Islam in this area seriously damaged it due to ban on alcohol. But Middle East christians keep the traditions of local winemaking alive up to now.
There are a lot of very interesting but hidden places in the old part of Mardin which the guests of it can not even imagine. For example you can see many beautiful photos of this city in the Internet and in the tourist guide books. But even for locals sometimes it’s hard to find correct viewpoint to make similar camera shots.
Shahmaran (Turkish “Şahmeran”) is a fabulous creature which is popular in the culture of many peoples in the Middle East. She is considered to be the queen of the serpents and the keeper of the wisdom. She is usually described as a being with a head of a beautiful and intelligent woman, a body of a dragon and a second serpent head at the tip of her tail.
Mardin is very old city which was founded several thousands years ago at the mountains of the Northern Mesopotamia. The development of the Great Silk road gave rise to this city. Under the walls of the Mardin fortess the caravans found shelter and took a rest before going to Amed (present Diyarbakır) or Edessa (now Şanlıurfa).
Sometimes it seems that time has stopped at the narrow streets of the old Mardin. When I am having a walk there I can take a stroll through history in my mind. It is hard just to imagine how many strange and mysterious stories are hidden at the corners of this mystical city.