How about a trip to lands where human history begins?
This region; in addition to magnificent historical spots such as Gobeklitepe, Nemrut, Harran, Zeugma, Arsemia and The Pool of Abraham, also awaits you with its historical bazaars, wonderful food and ancient culture.
You need at least 6 days to visit this fascinating region where the human history begins...
CITY OF PROPHETS: ŞANLIURFA
This city, where the Prophet Abraham was born, lived and thrown into fire by King Nimrod, is known as the city of prophets. In addition to the Prophet Abraham, it is known that Hiop, Elisha, Shuaib and Lut Prophets lived here. There is a lot to do in this city that seduces its visitors with its history and culture.
According to tradition, Nimrod had Abraham immolated on a funeral pyre, but God turned the fire into water and the burning coals into fish. The pool of sacred fish remains to this day. This sacred area named Pool of Abraham, which is now in the center of the city, is definitely on our sightseeing route. In addition, the cave where Abraham was born and lived for a while is in this region.
Gobeklitepe, the oldest known temple settlement, is our indispensable visiting point in this city. Göbeklitepe, entered the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2018 with its amazing monumental architecture. Year 2019 was announced as “2109 Göbeklitepe Year” in Turkey. Even though a small part of Göbeklitepe has been excavated, it still has changed the timeline of civilization with its history of about 12 thousand years. It is considered as the oldest and largest ritual site of the world, proved the effect of religious belief on the transition to a settled life.
Haleplibahçe Mosaic Museum is the greatest structure of Turkey crossed without any columns having an area of 6.000 m2 and 82 m diameter. The mosaics uncovered in Haleplibahçe are in-situ exhibited in the Haleplibahçe Mosaic Museum.
We will dive into Urfa Bazaar with our guests. In this historical market, there are all kinds of products like various kinds of spices, traditional textile products, local tastes and local agricultural products. Visiting this market means experiencing the local culture.
In the Şanlıurfa Archaeological Museum there are chronologically ordered surface finds and animations from the Paleolithic period, the world’s oldest “Balıklıgöl Snowman” statue which dates back to the Neolithic period, Göbeklitepe excavations and animations, Nevali Çori Temple, and the artifacts from Chalcolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic periods. Also, the following artifacts can be seen in the museum; sharp tools made of flint rock, drillers, stone icons, terracotta geometric patterned ceramics, stamps, burial pithos, necklaces made of faience, ceramic fragments with stamp seals, cylinder seals, pieces of containers with figurines, metallic tools and idols.
Harran Archaeological Site It is located at Harran Township, 44 km to the south of Şanlıurfa Province. Having been settled by numerous civilisations, i.e. Old Assyrians, New Assyrians, Hittites, New Babilonians, Meds, Persians, Helens, Romans, East Romans, Emevis, Abbasids, Hamdanis, Numeyris (1059), Seldjuks (1086), Zengis and Ayyubids (1182). It is indicated that Harran is named such because that it was built by “Haran”, uncle of Prophet Abraham. Presence of more than one hundred scholars from Harran is well-known in history. We do not finish our Harran trip without having Turkish coffee and tea experience in the famous Harran houses
MOUNT NEMRUT AND ADIYAMAN REGION
After Şanlıurfa, we usually turn our route to Adıyaman. This ancient city offers our guests amazing experiences.
A member town of the international cittaslow movement, Halfeti is a little gem of a fishing town on the Firat River in southeastern Turkey. Much of the town is submerged thanks to the Birecik Dam, which flooded in the 1990s. You can supposedly see the roofs of some sunken homes along the lake. Halfeti is famous for two things: black roses (which bloom dark red in spring and change to black during the summer months) and peanuts. In Halfeti, we offer our guests the pleasure of boating on the lake.
Arsemia was the summer capital and administrative centre of the Kommagene Kingdom which had presented wonderful works to the world heritage; it is a junction point reflecting the ideal of creating Greek-Persian culture where Kommagene kings had tried to synthesize the cultures of the east and west.
Mount Nemrut Archaeological Site, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, is located on a hill overlooking the Euphrates River passages and the plain at an altitude of 2150 meters on the Eastern Taurus mountain range. A tumulus was formed with accumulation of crushed rocks on the monumental tomb built for the King Antiochus I of the Commagene, and a fire altar, giant sculptures and relief stelae in Persian-Macedonian style were made on the terraces around the tumulus. On the eastern terrace, there are statues of the king, goddesses and gods, sitting in rows on the 10-meter-high thrones.
CITY OF CULTURE AND GASTRONOMY: GAZIANTEP
Gaziantep is an ancient city that stands out with its gastronomy as well as its history and culture. While our guests visit this city step by step, they have a new experience at every corner.
Zeugma Mosaic Museum is the greatest mosaic museum in the world. The total area of the Museum is 30,000 square-meters and it also has 25,000 square-meters covered area. Its collection exhibits 3,000 square meters of mosaic, 140 square meters of frescoes, 4 Roman fountains, 20 columns, 4 limestone statues, bronze statue of the god Mars, grave steles, sarcophagi and architectural pieces belonging to the Roman and Eastern Roman periods. Zeugma Mosaic Museum houses artifacts that are thought to be the most important mosaics in the world. With three-dimensional designs and high-level techniques, the depiction of architecture of the period, the way of life, the rich transfer of flora and fauna on the mosaics has made Zeugma one of the most important mosaic museums in the world.
Gaziantep is well-known for its long gastronomic history which has been at the core of its cultural identity. Gaziantep cuisine is very rich, ranging from kebabs, meat dishes, dishes with yoghurt, olive oil dishes, desserts, pilafs, vegetable dishes, meatballs, pastries, salads, and stuffed vegetables to soups. Gaziantep is the first gastronomy city of Turkey, only eight cities had been added to UNESCO's gastronomy list from around the world until Gaziantep's inclusion.
The bazaar area in the center of Gaziantep has always surprised our guests with its size and content. It takes almost a day to visit this complex, which is formed by the combination of many small market areas and bedestens reserved for different products. Baklava-type desserts and kebabs, which form the basis of Gaziantep gastronomy in small shops in this area, affect everyone with their appearance and smell. In this market area, where a variety of spices are sold, Gaziantep's famous pistachio and other nuts can be purchased. Many handcrafted products made with traditional methods are also appear in this bazaar.