on the banks of Tigris (Dicle), Diyarbakir still
carries a medieval air with its walls encircling the city.
These black basalt walls are perfect examples of the
military architecture of the Middle Ages. They are also very well known since they
are the second largest (5.5 kms) and bestpreserved walls in the world after the famous
Great Wall of China. Although there were Roman, and probably earlier walls
here, the present walls date back to early Byzantine times. There are sixteen keeps and
five gates, each of which deserves seeing along with their inscriptions and relief. There
are four main gates along the wall called as Dag Kapi, Urfa Kapi, Mardin Kapi and Yeni
You will have the chance to go back to bygone days at the
Deliler Han by the Mardin Kapi of the City Walls. Now it is restored as a hotel preserving
the original air of the old days when caravan travelers used to stop and rest.
Another fascinating sight in the city center, is the Ulu
Mosque, notable for its original architecture and the ancient materials used
in the restoration of the building at various times. Nearby the Ulu Mosque is the Mesudiye
Medresse and Hasan Pasha Han, a caravanserai now
being used by carpet and souvenir shops. The Nebii Mosque is a
typical example of the Ottoman style. The Church of the Virgin Mary
is interesting and it is still in use.
The Kasim Padisah Mosque is also
interesting, especially due to the engineering which built a large tower upon four tiny
pillars about two meters high, called the Dort Ayakli Minare.
The location of noted mythological cave Eshab-ul Keyf, and
Dacianus ruins are in the town of Lice. The holy Mount Zulkufil and Hilar Caves are in the
town of Ergani. Within the environs of Diyarbakir are the Birkleyn and Hasun Caves, the
Antak City ruins and the Cayonu Archaeological Site.
The city holds many mosques and buildings of long
historical and archaeological importance. There are four museums
in the city center. When you add to those the renowned watermelons of about 40 kilograms
approximately, and its silver and copper artifacts Diyarbakir certainly stands as a
destination to be visited. Gazi Kosku is a nice place for picnicking.