Monday, November 28, 2011

Ruins Of Byzantine Towns In Modern Turkey

In the old days Harran was one of the greatest cities in the region, now it looks like a remote old and ruined village. But Harran is still attractive to tourists because of its ancient monuments and unusual architecture. Harran has many legends and stories about it. This town was the center for those who believed in the Moon God.

This fortress built by Byzantines and reconstructed by Turks is more likely to be the town center. Unfortunately there are no indications, only barbed wires.

Despite that practically all the population is very poor, children wear such nice clean uniforms.

Such houses were built 3,000 years ago, since that time nothing has changed: unburned clay, cone-shaped roofs and high domes.

The corridor of a room.

The interior roof decoration.

Here probably were whole quarters of such clay houses. But where is an entrance?

The Old Testament tells about Harran. The town history starts from 2ooo B.C. As other towns in that region it went from hand to hand. Harran belonged to Assyrians, Persians, Seljuks, Romans, Turks and to Mongols. And exactly during the times of the Mongolian domination a prosperous town turned to ruins. Then it never was restored.

The fortress has 3 floors with holes in some unexpected places.

Now move to another ancient and mysterious town Mardin located on the hill top. Old stone buildings decline from slopes and only sometimes town streets cross them. Practically all houses are restored and rented for state institutions. This is the first women school.

Mardin is the homeland for Assyrians. Now their number is not so big because of immigration.

The fortress is the main place in Mardin, all the rest buildings appeared near it. It is still a military object and closed for tourists.

20 km divide this place from Syria.

Narrow side streets contain many shops with everything you ever wanted.

The town is covered with white stoned mosques that add a festive appearance.

The donkeys transport is still popular.

Dwelling quarters.

Inside an Orthodox church.

Under the church there is an empty room with a hanging ceiling.
via toinvent

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