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Sanliurfa

  • General information

    Official language: Turkish
    Time zone: UTC +3
    Currency: Turkish lira (TRY)

  • Hidden mandylion

    Mandylion is an image of Christ which was “not made with human’s hand”,  has a magical feature of protection against enemies. According to legend, it was located somewhere in the city.

  • Saint carps

    The legend says that a pagan king ordered to burn Abraham on a stake, but in time came divine intervention and changed fire into water, coal into carps, that now are under protection. 

  • Healing water

    In Sanliurfa, there is a well, from which water was taken by the prophet Job. Muslims believe it has healing power.

What’s worth seeing in Sanliurfa?

Sanliurfa, in the world known as Urfa, Edessa or the City of Prophets, used to be an important center for Christians. Till today it preserved its unique vibe, thanks to which it is on a must-see list of tourists visiting southern-eastern regions of southern East region of Turkey. With what it is attracting tourists?

History of the city is strictly connected to the history of monotheistic religions – Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Along with notes, it was the first city founded after the flood and the place of the birthplace of the prophet Abraham. Situated on the Silk Road, it used to be an important center of ancient Syria, but an attractive location made Sanliurfa passed from hand to hands of different rulers. That region was also home for first Christians, that could practice their faith without fear there.

The first impression made by Sanliurfa can be associated with chaos – effusion of colors, many waitresses with tea, pimps of taxis and market stalls. Second sight allows discovering the charm of the city and its mystical vibe – ancient buildings composed into a green oasis on the background of a modern city. The intensively irrigated city offers in its borders a few green oases, in which you can rest from tumult and sun. surely, you have to see Gölbasi – a picturesque park with saint carps and Dergah, a complex of mosques and parks, that hides the Cave of Birth of the prophet Abraham. An important point is also a visit to a local bazaar, where you can get almost everything.

What can you eat in Sanliurfi? Typical for the city is a traditional cuisine of southern East Anatolia. Kürt köftesi is free of meat versions of famous Turkish cutlets (köfte). They are made of bulgur, onion, and mint and seasoned with spices. Typical snacks are hummus, walnuts or grenade composed with olives. A flagship dish is Urfa kebabi, a local version of kebab with black chili and Ali Nazik kebabi, minced meat served with a puree of aubergine, with yogurt and garlic. Where to eat? We recommend Cevahir han restaurant, Altın Lokantası, and Sevgi Ciger Salonu.

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