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[Religious Tourism]


SANLIURFA      


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Ulu Mosque (Center)


This mosque is on of the oldest ones that are located in the center of Urfa. Previously, it was a synagogue and was converted into a St. Stephon Church by Bishop Rabula who died in 435- 436 AD. This church is also called “Red Church” due to multiple red columns that hold it. In 1170-1175 it was made into a mosque by Nurettin Zengi. The octagonal bell-like tower of this building is being used as a minaret today.


The cave in which Abraham was born and Mevlid-i Halil Mosque (Center)


Abraham was born in the cave currently located South of the Mevlid-i Halil Mosque. According to a myth, the governor of the period Nemrut saw a dream and told his astrologists about the dream in the morning. The astrologists interpreted the dream as “a child that will be born this year, will destroy your reign”. After hearing this, Nemrut gives an order of killing all male children that were born that year. The wife of Azer – idol-keeper of the palace – secretly gave birth to a child in this cave. Abraham lived in this cave until he was 7 years old. It is believed that the cave in which Abraham was born has healing properties and cures many diseases.


Balikli Lake (Halil-ur Rahman and Ayn-i Zeliha Lake-Center)


The lake is located in the city center. The fish in the lake, the century-old sycamores and the willows around the lake give it a view of an aquarium. There are two lakes in the region: Ayn-i Zeliha and Halil-ur Rahman. Prophet Abraham destroys the idols that Nemrut and his people worship, and starts to defend the idea of single Lord. Because of this, Abraham is thrown into big fire from the Sanliurfa Castle, upon Nemrut’s order. At this moment, Allah orders the fire: "Fire, be cool and safe to Abraham” and fire becomes water and firewood become fish. The lake, into which Abraham fell, is called Halil-ur Rahman Lake. The adopted child of Nemrut - Zeliha falls in love with Prophet Abraham. She begs her stepfather for Prophet Abraham’s salvation. After seeing that Abraham was thrown into the big fire, she also throws herself into the fire. The place into which Zeliha fell is called Ayn-i Zeliha Lake.


Prophet Eyyup and His Position (Center)


According to the myths, Prophet Eyyup was born in 2100BC in Syria, in the Desniye Village that is located between Sam and Ramla in Syria. Prophet Eyyup, who was infected with the leprosy disease, takes refuge in a cave with his wife Rahime and while suffering he never gave up his worship to God. Despite all of the sufferings, he never rebels to God. Finally, Prophet Eyyup passes this exam and God cures his disease with the healing water. Then he lives for a long time with his wife and children that were then granted to him. The cave in which Prophet Eyyup had lived during his disease is called the Position of Prophet Eyyup and is visited by many visitors.


Old Omeriye Mosque (Center)


The exact date of establishment is not known. Local folk believe the mosque was built by Omar, based on the name of the mosque. According to the epigraph located at the Eastern wall of the building, the mosque was repaired in 1301 by Muhammed Aga. The date stated in this inscription shows that that this mosque is the one of the oldest mosque of Urfa.


Halil-Ur Rahman Mosque (Doseme Mosque-Makam Mosque-Center)


This mosque is located at the South-West of the Halil-ur Rahman Lake. It is in a form of a kulliye that consists of a theological school, a cemetery and the place into which Abraham had fallen.


Eyyup, Elyasa and Rahime Hatun Tombs (Eyyup Nebi Village-Viransehir)


According to the local myths the grave of the Prophet Eyyup is located at the Eyyup Nebi Village which is 12 km away from the Viransehir County. After suffering for 7 years, Prophet Eyyup wounds are healed by the baths with the healing waters that were revealed to him by God. After he regains his health, he lives in Eyyup Nebi Village with his wife Rahime Hatun. The tombs of both of them are in this village.
The grave of Elyasa, the legendary person who traveled for three months by just walking, in order to see Prophet Eyyup and died without seeing him despite of the fact that he was very close to the village, is also here. According to a myth, when Murat IV is on his campaign to Baghdad, he takes a break in Eyyup Nebi Village and stays overnight. In his dream somebody tells him: “This place where you are staying is the position of Prophet Eyyup. When you wake up tomorrow, build a mosque and a tomb to the place where your horse whines and hits its foot three times to the ground”.


Suayb City (Harran)


There are buildings made of cut stone that were built on hundreds of rock-engraved graves. Some of the remains of the walls and the basements still remain intact. Among the ruins of the Suayb city, there is a cave that is known as Position of Prophet Suayb.


Ulu Mosque (Harran)


This mosque was built between 744-750 years, by Emevi Governor Mervan II. It is thought that the mosque had a kulliye structure, since there is a famous theological school, a bath, a hospital. This mosque is one of the oldest and big mosques of Anatolia.


Der-Yakup Church (Nemrut'un Tahti-Center)


It is known to be one of the earliest churches built since the birth of Christianity. It is thought that the church was built in 38 AD by Christian Suryanis. Some people call this place “Nemrut’s throne” and some call it “Nemrut’s grave”. Suryanis called this place Deyro D'Nalsotho (Monastery of Souls).


Deyr-i Mesih (Church of Jesus-Center)


This church is one of the earliest ones since the history of Christianity and was built in 38 AD by Suryanis. Evliya Celebi writes that Jesus visited Urfa and visited this church. Because of this, the church is called Deyr-i Mesih (Church of Jesus).


Harran (Harran)


Hebrews are known to have one of the most ancient religion and language. They are the first society that believed in single God (monotheism). As it is written in Torah, Prophet Abraham who was leading the Sami Jews, was told by God: “Take your tribe and leave your fatherland (the city of Ur, today’s Urfa) and travel to the country that I will show you. There, I will make your tribe a great nation.” Again in the Torah, it is told as “Abram was 75 years old when he left Harran.” Scientists claim that the house of Prophet Abraham was located among the current ruins of the northern ridge of the mountain side standing in the middle of the city.