|Mahdin Castle on top of the mountain|
Mardin is known for the Artuqid architecture of its old city. The Artuqid people were forerunners to the current Turkish population of this region. The Artuqids also settled in Hasankeyf, a place we would visit the following day. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artuqids
|Tiny part of Mahdin Castle|
|Looking from Maturity Institute level up towards the old castle|
This link tells just about everything might want to know about Mardin sights:
Virtual Tourist - Mardin
|Door to medrese, no longer accessible|
My notes indicate that Taş told us that we were seeing a 12th century madrese (school) that had just been fully restored, but I did not note the name of this place. This was very high up above the city of Mardin. The only 12th century medrese that I found info about is the Sitti Radviyye Medrese which was built in honor of someone's wife and supposedly has footprint that is claimed to be that of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
|Taken at level of highest madrese we visited|
The madrese we saw was very nicely restored but parts were locked, to the dismay of our guide; so we did not see this special footprint. I opted not to enter the areas which required removal of shoes. When you get my age removing laced-up sneakers without a place to sit down becomes a comfort issue. Unless there is really something special to see, I'm not doing it. So possibly I missed out on seeing some things. Bill missed out too; he can easily slip his shoes off and on but he simply was not interested. He appreciated the view looking down on the old city and the Tur-abdin more than whatever was inside those "no shoes" areas.
|Almost at eye level with the minaret|
for the Great Mosque
On a slightly lower level was the Sultan Isa Medrese, also known as the Zinciriye Medrese. This one was constructed in 1385 and is part of a complex that includes a mosque and the tomb of Najm ad-din Isa (whoever he was). The highlight of this complex is the imposing recessed doorway. At and below this level are the only Turkic buildings in Mardin. Turkic does not mean Turkish; Turkic is Seljuk.
|Learning about the school|
|Bill in front of the Maturity Institute|
|Tea on the rooftop anyone?|
|We opted to eat at ground level at|
the place with the green sign.
Also from this level was a good view of the very tall minaret of the Ulu Cami.
|The minaret as seen from level of|
the Ulu Cami, Great Mosque
By the way, a 'c' in Turkish (without a squiggly beneath it) is pronounced like a soft 'g' or a 'j'. So Cami is pronounced Jami or Jahmi. As I had only read this word before this trip and not heard it, I had formed a completely different pronunciation in my mind. Took days of hearing the correct pronunciation for me to finally mentally accept it.
|Taş and Gwen posing|
The Great Mosque was constructed in the 12th century by the ruler of the Artuqid Turks. It has a ribbed dome and a minaret that soars above the city. There were originally two minarets but one collapsed many centuries ago. The remaining minaret actually soars above everything in and around Mardin. It is visible from just about everywhere except down in the dark narrow alleys or the souk.
|Taş & Gwen posing|
|Bill in Kurdish headscarf|
|Local boy riding donkey -- right down steep steps!|
Orange means you are Turkish.
Red means you are Arab.
Black means you are Kurdish.
Purple means you are modern and do not wish to be identified as Kurdish, Arab or Turkish.
Peach or Orange with crosses means you are Syriac.
|Could not believe he rode that donkey|
down all those steps! Easy as pie!
Well, heck, now I did not want the headscarf that had been placed on Bill's head and that we had bought. On our way back we stopped again at that shop and asked to trade it for a Syriac patterned scarf.
|Taş with Judy in Syriac headscarf|
This will be gifted to our daughter-in-law who is religious. I think that is sort of a special gift for her. It is large and can be worn as a scarf rather than a headscarf. Or she can use it as a decoration in her home. The shop owner wound the scarf around my head; that did not stay on long.
|Girl at the ablutions at the Great Mosque|
While waiting for the others at the Great Mosque I enjoyed watching a little girl at the ablution spigots. She had come to fill a small water bottle. Pretty little thing.
We exited the souk and stopped for lunch at a small cafe. Outside in the back alleyway exiting the souk were pans of animal entrails which had obviously belonged to the kitchen of this restaurant. That bothered some of our group members but not me. Chickens don't naturally come on styrofoam trays wrapped in plastic. They must be killed and cleaned first. This did not affect mine or Bill's appetites. Lunch was great for us.
|The home on the second level of this building is|
used to film most of the soap operas in Turkey.
|Mardin is also famous for silver|
working. These are small purses
made from silver filigree.
Soon more of our group members arrived and the attendant changed the videos to play in English. For the life of me, I cannot remember a thing about the video now other than it was good. So, if you are ever in Mardin, it is worth a stop at the museum to watch the video presentation.
|Sign at Virgin Mary Church|
Also right at the museum is the 6th century Virgin Mary Church, known to the Syriacs as the Yoldath Aloho Church. The epigraph over the entrance door written in Aramaic states: "What an imposing place this is! This place is the home of God! The gate of heaven is this!" Tekvin: 28:17
Does your Bible contain a Book of Tekvin? Mine does not. Guess it should not surprise anyone that the Syriac Bible might be a bit different than other Christian Bibles; certainly different from the St. James version used by most Protestants. It is now possible to obtain a copy of the Bible translated directly from ancient Aramaic to English. I would be interested in reading this to compare to the St. James version upon which I was raised. I have always felt that much must have been lost in translating from Aramaic to Hebrew to Greek to Latin to English. Here is a link to translations by Dr. George Lamsa: Direct Aramaic to English translation of Bible
|Sign on the St. Hirmiz Chaldean Church|
|Door to St. Hirmiz Church|
|Carvings at St. Hirmiz Chaldean Church|
|Very potent coffee drink|
|Had to get a photo of this dress.|
Can you imagine!
Back in Midyat for our last night there, the hotel owner treated our group to dinner at a restaurant across the street rather than in the hotel restaurant. As in most hotels in Turkey the evening meal and breakfast are included in the room price. We have found this to be true all over Turkey except in Istanbul. This was a nice treat and the food was good.