Mardin used to be an important center of the Western Asia for both its strategic location and commercial richness. Excavations in Girnavaz Tumulus at the crossing point of Assyrian royal roads indicate that the place was continuously settled from 4000 to 700 BC. Yielding many finds including potteries, bottles, ceramic sculptures, cylinder shaped bulla as well as architectural remains from the late Assyrian period, Girnavaz reflects all characteristics pertinent to the upper Mesopotamian culture. The tumulus is believed to be the place where genies live together and visited for heal to those with mental problems.
Mardin - Sunset
Mardin was once a very important center for Christianity. Architectural structures belonging to different epochs have reached out time in a unique architectural integrity. One can find unique Mardin houses; churches of Kırklar, Mar Mihail, Behrimiz, Virgin Mary, Mar Yusuf and Mar Bitris; medresses of Kasımiye, Zinciriye and Marufiye; monasteries of Deyr’ul Zafaran and Deyr’ul Umur; mosques of Ulu, Çubuk and Molla Hari and the castle as important buildings in this integrity.
Midyat - Mar Sarbil Churche
Extending over a territory of 12,760 km2, the province of Mardin lies between the Southeastern Taurus Range to the north and the Arabian Platform to the south. Most of this territory covers the area known as "Mardin-Midyat Threshold."
The population of the province is 705,098 (Census of 2000). Dargeçit, Derik, Kiziltepe, Mazidagi, Midyat, Nusaybin, Ömerli, Savur and Yesilli are Mardin’s districts in the periphery.
Upon the completion of the GAP, 100,000 hectares of land in the province will be under cotton culture and cotton will be processed at enterprises in the Organized Industrial Site. Other promising industries include foodstuffs, fruit processing and seed production. Chemical fertilizer plants in the province will supply part of phosphate fertilizers needed in crop farming. Besides its Organized Industrial Site, Mardin also has its Small Industrial Site comprising 190 enterprises and capable of employing 1,140 persons.
Houses of Mardin
HOUSES OF MARDIN
Basic building material is easily workable limestone. Reflecting all characteristics of a closed-in way of life, traditional Mardin houses are surrounded by 4-meter high stonewalls. They have a distinguished place in the housing architecture of Anatolia with their unique plans, embellishments and materials and presently give the city a character of open-air museum.
In spite of the availability of many inscriptions, there is no definite information about the first construction of this mosque. While some historians assert that the mosque was converted from a church, this assertion is not supported by available information. As the oldest mosque in Mardin, Grand Mosque is especially significant for its original plan and embellishments.
Located to the south of Cumhuriyet neighborhood, Latifiye mosque was built in 1371 by Abdüllatif during the rule of the Artuklu. Constructed with double-color ashlar, the mosque presents fine examples of wood working in its pulpit and lodge.
The mosque is at the shopping center of the city. It was first built in the 15th century and restored in 18th and 19th centuries. It is a two-story building with its rectangular plan, liwan and minaret and one of the biggest of all mosques in Mardin.
It is to the southeast of central town, facing the plains to the south. The complex comprises a medresse, a mosque and a lodge. Having no inscription on, it is presumed that its construction was started during the rule of the Artuklu and completed around 1487 - 1502 during the reign of Sultan Kasim of Akkoyunlu. It is a two-story building of ashlar and brick with an open yard and single liwans accompanied by double ones.
It was built in 1385 by Melik Necmettin Isa. It is thus also referred to as "Sultan İsa Medresse." It was once used as museum. It is one of the most impressive buildings in Mardin with its striped domes and monumental main gate.
Deyr'ül Zafaran Monastery
DEYR’ÜL ZAFARAN MONASTERY
It is to the east of Mardin, on slopes overlooking the Mesopotamian Plain. The building was constructed on a Sin Temple at an unknown date, but its conversion to a monastery took place in the 4th century. It was one of the religious centers of the Syriac community. The monastery rooms in various sacred items and tombs of 52 Syriac patriarchs. It is an important tourist attraction center in our day.
Deyr'ül Zafaran Monastery
DEYR’UL UMUR MONASTERY
18 km to the east of Mardin, this monastery was built in 397 AD by Mar Samuel from Savur and Mar Semun from Katmin. The monastery has other buildings in including the churches of Virgin Mary, Resuller and 40 Sehit and temples of Mar Samuel and Mar Semun. It was a bishopric center from 615 to 1049.
MAR YAKUP MONASTERY
At the central district of Nusaybin, it was constructed on the remains of an older temple. The monastery was built in 328 after the demise of Mar Yakup and dedicated to him. It is an important historical property in Nusaybin with its unique architecture.
HANDICRAFTS IN MARDIN
Cloth weaving has totally disappeared in Mardin while jewellery is still a sophisticated activity at the central town and Midyat. Lacework and embroidery are both developing in the area. Copper and tinsmith work have lost their importance. The most salient feature of all traditional buildings in Mardin is their fine stone working. The Midyat Governorate launched a "stone cutting and working workshop" to teach this art which is about to disappear. Old masters teach the art to young people in this workshop. The workshop is also a rich source for restoration activities taking place in the province.