Dorak Exclusive | Cultural Regions

cultural regions




Mardin, located between the Dicle and Fırat rivers, is one of the most curious cities of the Southeastern Anatolia Region. The city, where you will travel through time with its unique architecture, has a deep-rooted history with its structure that embraces different religions.

Mardin Castle

Mardin Castle, the most well-known landmark of the city, will immediately attract your attention on a high hill overlooking the region. Mardin Castle, popularly known as the Eagle's Nest and lined with famous Mardin stone houses on its slopes, attracts everyone's attention due to the incredible view of Mardin it offers at an altitude of 1200 meters above sea level.

Kayseriye Passage

When you want to decorate your cultural and historical trip in Mardin with shopping, Kayseriye Passage, which has a historical feature, will be waiting for you. There are many souvenir shops in this bazaar, which was built between 1487 and 1502 during the Artukid Period.


Located 60 kilometers from the center of Mardin, the town of Midyat is the most visited place in Mardin with its fascinating historical treasures of thousands of years. B.C. Midyat, mentioned in the 9th century Assyrian tablets, is the living history of Mardin with its cave houses and temples carved into the rocks by the first Assyrian Christians who came to the region, as well as the Turabdin Plateau, which hosts the most important monasteries of Upper Mesopotamia, and its streets that smell of history reminiscent of an open-air museum.

Complementing the magnificent view of Mardin and appearing to be stacked on top of each other on the mountain slope from both Mardin Castle and the streets of the city, Mardin houses are especially famous for the unique view they offer at sunrise and sunset. The historical Mardin houses, which are lined up on an area of 2.5 kilometers from east to west on the southern slope of Mazıdağı, were built with yellow limestone, which you can see in cities such as Niğde and Kayseri, and also have unique architectures with impressive handmade stone ornaments, porticos and iwans.

A historical treasure that you should definitely see closely in Mardin, which is home to many fascinating historical treasures, is the Mardin Grand Mosque, which has become one of the city's symbolic structures. The mosque, which was built with two minarets during the Artuqid period, is worth seeing with its only minaret decorated with impressive stone workmanship. The only minaret of the Mardin Great Mosque, which is the oldest mosque in Mardin and whose inscription is understood to be older than 1176, although it is not known when it was built, was rebuilt in 1889 in a different style than the mosque.

On the western coastline is the ancient town of Ephesus. This destination is one of the most important historical sites in Turkey and Asia Minor, as plenty of Roman ruins can be found throughout the city. Some of the most important landmarks include the Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), the Temple of Hadrian, the Temple of Domitian, Odeon, and part of the Basilica of St. John. Allow yourself at least a whole day to truly embrace the beauty and magnificence of the area.

The ancient city of Pergamon is a former Greek community close to the Aegean Coast. There are plenty of ancient sites found within this old settlement, including the famous Temple of Trajan. The Serapis Temple is another landmark, and three kilometers to the south is the Sanctuary of Asclepius. The Great Altar of Pergamon is often regarded as the heart of the city, although it is now located inside a museum in Berlin (but the base still stands). There are also royal palaces, the Heroon and the Upper Agora to enjoy.

The town of Aspendos holds some of Turkey’s most beloved ancient Roman sites. Built in the 2nd century AD, the Aspendos Theater was originally used during the rule of Marcos Aurelius for performances, holding a capacity of 20,000. Due to ongoing maintenance to keep the facility fully restored, it is one of Europe’s most beautiful Roman attractions and sees thousands of visitors every year.

One of the most important sites in the country, Mount Nemrut is a World Heritage peak in the Taurus Mountain range. There are a number of ancient statues - although mainly just their heads - located on the mountain. In the afternoon, the sunset provides a spectacular setting for tourists looking to take memorable photographs.

Pamukkale has been made eternally famous by the gleaming white calcite travertines (terraces) overrunning with warm, mineral-rich waters on the mountain above the village – the so-called ‘Cotton Castle' (pamuk means 'cotton' in Turkish). Just above the travertines lies Hierapolis, once a Roman and Byzantine spa city, which has considerable ruins and a museum. UNESCO World Heritage status has brought measures to protect the glistening bluffs, and put paid to the days of freely traipsing around, but the travertines remain one of Turkey’s singular experiences.

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