The city walls - Diyarbakır is surrounded by an intact, dramatic set of high walls of black basalt forming a 5.5 km (3.4
mi) circle around the old city. There are four gates into the old city and 82 watch-towers on the walls, which were built
in antiquity, restored and extended by the Roman emperor Constantine in 349.
Places of worship - Diyarbakır boasts numerous medieval mosques and madrassahs including:
Ulu Camii ("Great Mosque") built by the Seljuk Turkish Sultan Malik Shah in the 11th century. The mosque, one of the
oldest in Turkey, is constructed in alternating bands of black basalt and white limestone. (The same patterning is used
in the 16th century Deliler Han Madrassah, which is now a hotel. The adjoining Mesudiye Medresesi was built at the
same time as was another prayer-school in the city Zinciriye Medresesi.
Hazreti Süleyman Camii - 1155-1169 - Süleyman son of Halid Bin Velid, who died capturing the city from the Arabs,
is buried herealong with his companions.
Safa Camii - built in 1532 by the Ak Koyunlu Turkmen tribe.
Nebii Camii - another Ak Koyunlu mosque, a single-domed stone construction from the 16th century. Nebi Camii
means "the mosque of the prophet" and is so-named because of the number of inscriptions in honour of the prophet
on its minaret.
Dört Ayaklı Minare (the four-footed minaret) - built by Kasim Khan of the Akkoyunlu, it is said that one who passes
seven times between the four columns will have his wishes granted.
Fatihpaşa Camii - built in 1520 by Diyarbakır's first Ottoman governor, Bıyıklı Mehmet Paşa ("the moustachioed
Mehmet pasha"). The city's earliest Ottoman building it is decorated with fine tilework.
Hüsrevpaşa Camii - the mosque of the second Ottoman governor, 1512-1528, originally the building was intended to
be a school (medrese)
İskender Paşa Camii - and another mosque of an Ottoman governor, an attractive building in black and white stone,
built in 1551.
Behrampaşa Camii - an Ottoman mosque built in 1572 by the governor of Diyarbakır, Behram Pasha, noted for the
well-constructed arches at the entrance.
Melik Ahmet Camii- another 16th century mosque, noted for its tiled prayer-niche, and the double stairway up the
The Syriac Orthodox church of Our Lady Turkish: Meryemana kilisesi), was first constructed as a pagan temple in
the 1st century BCE. The current construction dates back to the 3rd century, has been restored many times, and is
still in use as a place of worship today.
Church of Virgin mary Near Dag kapi and Kale kapi
Sourp Sarkis Giragos Church Near Mardin kapi
Saint George Armenian Church In Ickale, near Kale kapi
Protestant Church Near Mardin kapi in Cemal Yilmaz neighbourhood
Chaldean Catholic Church of Mar Petyun (St Antoine) In Ozdemir neighbourhood, Yeni kapi street
Diyarbakır - Historical Sites and Ruins
It is located at Hilar Caves location within the boundaries of Sesveren Pınar of Ergani district of Diyarbakır province.
The excavations and investigations carried out since 1964 revealed it as one of the oldest settlements of Anatolia, with
traces of settling going back to the 8th millennium B.C. In these sites which belong to the Early Agricultural Village
Communities period, various stages within the Neolithic Age itself were revealed.
It is located at Üçtepe village of Bismil District of Diyarbakır. Excavations were started in 1988 at Üçtepe which is one of
the bigger tumuluses of the area, under the scientific leadership of Prof. Dr. Veli Sevin by the Directorate of Diyarbakır
Museum. Besides significant works from the New Assyrian era, important findings from Hurri - Mitanni, Helenistic and
Roman periods were discovered.
Located at the Provincial center, the magnificent Diyarbakır Castle is 5700 m. long, 12 m. high and 3- 5 m. wide, with a
plan resembling a turbot fish. The castle has four entarences and eighty two bastions. The most important of the later
is the "bastion of seven Brothers", built in 1208 by the Artuklu King Melik Salih Memduh. It has double headed eagle
and winged lion reliefs. An inscription goes around the bastion like a sash. The castle which was built in the year 349
during the Roman period, was repaired at various times during the Islamic period, and took its present form with
It is on the Diyarbakır - Batman highway, on the right hand side of the new road. It was build in 1147 during the
Artukoğulları period. The feet of the large pointed arch at the center are based on rocks. There are two chambers of
4.50 X 5.30 size at both ends of the bridge where the guards responsible from the security of the bridge could be
posted and the caravan travelers could rest. Inside the spiral columned niches on the gullies of the bridge, there are
paintings of human, animal and sun motifs.
|The Great Mosque of Diyarbakir
The Great Mosque of Diyarbakir is the oldest and one of the most significant mosques in Anatolia. Following the
Muslim capture of Diyarbakir in 639, a church in the city was used in part as a mosque. The church was eventually fully
converted to a mosque, but the building fell into disuse and ruin. In 1091 Sultan Malik Shah directed the local Seljuk
governor Maidud Davla to rebuild a mosque on the site. Completed in 1092, the mosque is similar to and heavily
influenced by the Umayyad Great Mosque in Damascus (which was repaired by Malik Shah in the twelfth century prior
to work in Diyarbakir). The influence of the Damascus mosque brought Syrian architecture and decoration to Anatolia.
The portal of the mosque is carved with two lions attacking two bulls. The mosque consists of a prayer hall which
makes up the entire south wall of the courtyard, three aisles which together are more than twice as wide as they are
deep. The high roof of the central hall is made of timber trusses, supported by rows of rectangular stone piers.
The mosque is actually a complex of buildings around a courtyard 63 meters long by 30 meters wide. The façade of
the courtyard is highly decorated two-story colonnade on the east, south, and west sides, with only one story on the
north side. The western façade, rebuilt by the Atabek Inaloglu Abu Mansur Ilaldi between 1117 and 1125 following an
earthquake and fire in 1115, reuses columns and sculptural moldings from a Roman theater. The architect Hibat Allah
al Gurgani was responsible for both that reconstruction and the square minaret rising above the qibla wall. Also
included in the complex are the Mesudiye Medresesi (1193) and, not connected to the courtyard, the Zinciriye
Medresesi (1189) . The center of the courtyard has an Ottoman (1849) sadirvan (ablution fountain) and a platform for
praying; both block a clear view through the courtyard.
Many Kufic inscriptions record in detail the rebuilding and additions made to the complex throughout its long history.
Lavish carving and decoration of the columns of the courtyard are one of the distinguishing features of the Great
Mosque. The western arcade of the courtyard includes the first use of the broken arch.
The city walls of Diyarbakir are more than five kilometers long, among the longest of medieval fortifications; only the
Great Wall of China is longer.
. It is constructed of imposing masonry in black basalt (a stone of local origin), and had along its circuit more than 75
towers, all but six of which are still standing. There are four original gates in the wall, the Harput gate in the north, the
Yeni Kapi in the east, the Mardin gate to the south, and the Urfa gate to the west. The Ottoman period.
The location of the gates and the line of the wall dates from the late fourth century A.D. A north-south street connects
the Mardin Gate with the Harput Gate; an east-west street connects the Urfa Gate with the Yeni Kapi. The central
market is at the intersection of these main avenues. Although some Byzantine stonework is incorporated into the
fortifications as we see them today, the late Roman walls were largely repaired or replaced piecemeal in Medieval
times, in 909 by the Abbasid caliph Al Muktadir, and substantially during Diyarbakir's rise in prominence between the
eleventh and thirteenth centuries.
Al Muktadir rebuilt the Harput gate and the Mardin gate following their intentional demolition by his predecessor ten
years earlier. The Harput gate is a Byzantine design embellished during the rebuilding with crude animals carved in
relief. The entrance, as are all gates, is heavily fortified between two half-round towers that project almost 15 meters
from the line of the wall. The Mardin gate is similar in plan and decoration. Carved fauna became a tradition among
subsequent rebuilders of Diyarbakir's towers and walls.
Sultan Malik Shah of the Great Seljuks built four towers on the western wall, celebrated in floriated Kufic inscriptions.
One of these inscriptions, on a tower dated 1088, has a figural carving in the center of the dedication featuring a
seated man flanked by two bulls, while at each end of the writing a lion is carved above a ram and an eagle with
outstretched wings. Another similar tower, built in 1089, has carvings of a seated man with galloping horses at his
sides above the inscription, and lions with knotted tails at each end of the first line. These are followed by hares facing
each other and an eagle above a seated female nude.
In 1183 Diyarbakir became the capital city of the Artukids, who made the most significant additions to the walls. That
year the Urfa Gate was rebuilt by the Muhammad, son of Kara Arslan. The gate has finely carved figures of dragons
on either side of an inscription, and on the keystone of the arched gate is a bull's head surmounted by an eagle with
outstretched wings. In the same area of the western wall, south of the gate, are the two most imposing towers, Ulu
Beden and Yedi Kardes. Both were commissioned in 1208 by the Artukid al-Malik al-Salih Mahmud (who designed the
Yedi Kardes tower himself). The Ulu Beden tower was built by the architect Ibrahim bin Jafar; Yedi Kardes was
constructed by the architect Yahya bin Ibrahim Sufi. The Ulu Beden tower is almost a full circle in plan, as it defends a
sharply acute angle in the walls. It is 25.5 meters in diameter, faced with smooth basalt, and encircled midway up its
height by a monumental inscription. The bulk of the inscription is one line of Kufic script, but in the center there are
three lines forming a rectangular focal point. Winged, human-headed lions decorate the top two corners of the plaque;
the bottom corners are each decorated with bulls. In the center above the inscription is the Artukid double-headed
eagle. The Yedi Kardes tower is similar in all respects to the Ulu Beden tower, but it is slightly larger, 27.8 meters in
By the early thirteenth century the fortifications were strong and needed few additions. The Ottomans expanded the
internal wall that separated the citadel from the rest of the city in the sixteenth century, but by then they had
abandoned the fashion of decorating the construction.
The citadel was fortified in the east by the city wall, and separated from the city by an additional wall on the west. In the
early thirteenth century, during the Artukid period, the fortifications enclosed administrative buildings; the area still
functions much the same today. Just outside the thirteenth century walls is the Kale Mosque, built in 1160. Its position
compromises the security of the walls (which were built later). Also within the citadel is the Artukid palace that was used
as a prison by the Ottomans.
Class Hotel (5 stars)
Malabadi Hotel (4 stars)
Hotel Dedeman Diyarbakır (4 stars)
Buyuk Diyarbakir Hotel (3 stars)
Prestige Otel Diyarbakir (4 stars)
Tel: 0412 2295054
Fax: 0412 2295055
Kervansaray Hotel Diyarbakir (special class)
Address: Gazi cad. Mardin kapi (Mardin gate)
Tel: (412) 228 96 06 (4 Lines)
Fax: (412) 223 95 22
3 stars Hotels
Miroglu Hotel Tel: 0412 2296000 Fax: 0412 2233780
Turistik Hotel Tel: 0412 2247550 Fax: 0412 2286460
Grand Güler Hotel Tel: 2281735 Fax: 0412 2244509
Demir Hotel: Tel: 0412 2288800 Fax: 0412 2288809
2 stars Hotels
BALKAR OTEL Tel:0412 2281233 Fax: 04122246936
KRİSTAL OTEL Tel:04122241642 Fax: 04122240187
KAPLAN OTEL Tel:0412 2249606 Fax: 04122240187
GÜLER OTEL Tel: 0412 2243661 Fax: 04122240294
BİRKENT OTEL Tel:0412 2287131-32 Fax:
Information about Diyarbakir historical sites
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