Marvellous Mardin – Alleyways and Arches


Still in Mesopotamia, Mardin is amazing.  Its original habitation apparently dates back to 4000 BC  and, like Harran, it is considered one of the longest continuously inhabited places on earth.

Mardin began its current life as a fortified hilltop castle (built around 330 BC) which then grew and expanded down the hill in breathtakingly gorgeous honey-colored layers.  The town was positioned in such an important location on the Silk Road that it often gained protection and benefits from the different rulers that regularly rampaged and reigned across the lands.

We loved wandering the alleyways and arches, getting lost and found, and joking with the local kids.

We also walked to, and hitched back from, a nearby monastery, Deyrul Zafaran, once the seat of the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate (now in Damascus), and taxi’d out to Dara, the ruins of an old Persian or Roman city (depending on whom you consult!) where amazing dams and irrigation canals were built but most impressively cathedral like underground aqueducts and water cisterns!

Mardin is also special for the way Muslims, Christians, Turks, Kurds, Syrians, Iraqis and others have lived together for centuries, and continue to live together, (mostly) in cooperation and peace.

I’ll let the pictures do the talking.


A hilltop castle with a town cascading down, down…


…and down out to the plains of Syria


Left or right… choose your own adventure!


…make new friends…


…explore old Assyrian Churches…


… cruise in the Bazaar….


…where is the old Mosque?


There! With more of those gorgeous teardrop carvings that seem to pop up everywhere!

For more photos, click here.


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7 Responses to Marvellous Mardin – Alleyways and Arches

  1. Chelle says:

    Totally wishing I was there, lovely pics! And of course as ever I’m enjoying reading about all yur adventures (somwhat enviously from my desk at work!!). Glad to hear you’re feeling better, its just not right to get sick on your travels! Where are you both planning to spend the big day? Chelle

    • Bumblebee says:

      Hi Michelle!

      Bit behind on the blog… currently travelling through Georgia, Armenia and then Iran…. (without wanting to jinx anything) we are hoping to be skiing just out of Tehran on Christmas Day. Should be memorable! Hope you have some nice plans too! 🙂

  2. Pingback: Mardin Markets, Dara Ruins and an old Monastery…. | Bumblebee Trails

  3. Breathtakingly beautiful and more….

  4. Diane G says:

    Exciting but also refreshing Diane Goer

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