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Written by Janani on January 28, 2022 Share on

Mardin, Turkey – Into the Southeastern town of Turkey!

The Capital city of the province Mardin il in southeast Turkey is Mardin. Perched at the tip of a plateau, Mardin is also the provincial capital. This ancient town is built with Sandstone that overlooks the extensive plateaus and the Mesopotamian plain. It is also an important regional trading centre on the Southern Anatolian east-west trade routes. Mardin is connected to Istanbul by a rail line from Baghdad. You can also reach this city by road via Gaziantep (west), Aleppo (southwest, in Syria), Nusaybin (southeast), and Diyarbakır (northeast).

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This piece of land was once home to hunters and gatherers, transitioning from nomads to permanent residents. It can be seen as a place where some of the earliest human civilisation happened. Most importantly it is one of the places where agriculture was introduced to the human population approximately 12,000 years ago. As per the studies, the gatherers started settling and cultivating on the banks and slowly transitioned into agricultural societies at around 10,000 B.C. Thanks to their ancestors, Turkey is now the 7th largest procedure (agriculture) with about 20% of its population working in this sector. 

The Province of Mardin is bordered by Syria in the South. This province is a chief agricultural producing area. The major produces are wheat, barley and sesame. Not just crops, the Angora goats raised here are also well-known for their wool. The Mardin Province also has its own woollen-weaving industry. 

Origin of the name ‘Mardin’

Mardin in Turkey
Source: Pixabay

Mardin is one of those places on the main routes connecting Turkey to Syria and Iraq. According to hearsay, the history of the city of Mardin dates as back as the Flood. This city lived under the rule of the Hurri-Mitani, Hittites, Surs, Babylonians, Persians, Romans, Arabs and also the Seljuk Turks. Later, during Artuklu Kingdom named the Mardin region “Tabaka Ilgaziyye”. Initially, the city of Mardin was known as ‘Marde’ by the Persians. It was known as ‘Mardia‘ by the Byzantine and then it eventually came to be named as ‘Maridin’ by the Arabs and ‘Merde-Merdo-Merdi‘ by the Syriac. All these names were changed into Mardin after the region was occupied by the Turks.

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Top 5 Important places to visit in Mardin

the great Mosque
Source: Pixabay
  1. Zinciriye Medresesi
  2. Kasımiye Medresesi
  3. Forty Martyrs Church
  4. Mardin Museum
  5. Sakıp Sabancı City Museum

1. Zinciriye Medresesi

The Zinciriye Medresesi is an old medrese meaning a theological college. It was founded in 1385 by Isa Bey. It is important to note that Zinciriye Medresesi is one of Mardin’s best-preserved buildings. Zinciriye Medresesi is well-known for its stunning views from rooftop that swoops over the entire town, out to the Mesopotamian Plains below. The Intricately decorates doorways are the highlights of this building that stands as a testimony to Islamic artistry. 

2. Kasımiye Medresesi

Kasımiye Medresesi is a 15th-century medrese complex. It consists of a theological college and a domed mosque. It is known for its peaceful atmosphere within the complex and also for some of the astonishingly elaborate stone carving work on its doorways. 

ancient civilization
Source: Pixabay

3. Forty Martyrs Church

The Forty Martyrs Church is a 4th-century church that still holds a ravishing interior with some beautiful icons and paintings that are definitely worth your visit. The entrance of the Church has some intricate carvings that commemorate the Christian martyrs of Cappadocia. This also depicts the reason why the church was renamed in the 15th century as Forty Martyrs Church. 

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4. Mardin Museum

Mardin Museum is one of the town’s grandest 19th-century villas. It once served to be the headquarters of the Syriac Catholic Patriarchate. The museum now has displays of some of the best Assyrian and Bronze Age pottery.

Even though you are really not a fan of museums, you should visit this museum. It is definitely worth your visit.  

5. Sakıp Sabancı City Museum

This Museum was Mardin‘s former army barrack. It is now home to this museum which traces the staggering and also convoluted history of the town. All the exhibits here explains Mardin‘s role down through the ages. It also helps in understanding the cultural and religious mix of Muslims, Assyrian Christians, and Kurds.


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Other Places to Visit in Mardin

Night view of Mardin
Source: Pixabay

A few other places that you must definitely visit while you are in mandarin are as below;

  • Ulu Cami Miratet – Minarets of a 11th century mosque built by the Artuqid Dynasty.
  • Mardin Bazaar – Known for its spices
  • Mardin Post Office – Stands to be the best example of 19th-century villa architecture. Most ornate post office building in Turkey. 
  • Mardin Castle – a 15th-century castle with magnificent carvings of lions leading to the  fortress starting from the Zinciriye Medresesi
  • Deyrulzafaran – Originally a 5th-century building. It has been demolished twice and rebuilt. It has a secret sanctuary Chamber underground. Make sure you visit it!
  • Midyat – the old town district known as the silversmith center. A town with small family-run jewelry workshops.
  • Dar – An ancient city of Rome with rock-cut tombs and two separate underground cisterns.
  • Tür Abdin Monasteries – Tür Abdin (Mountain of the Servants of God) is a highland region east of Mardin. The Monastries here are quite popular and are worth the visit

Hope this article helped you to understand the city of Mardin in Turkey. Turkey as a country has a lot to offer by itself for all types of tourists. We in Pickyourtrail have tried to compile a few things to help you to plan for your next Turkey vacation. Make sure to check out our other Blogs on Turkey to know more about such unique places and things to do in Turkey. Book your trip with us now and get ready to explore this fascinating country!

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