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Coordinate: 37º09’00.00’’K 38º48’00.00’’D Height: 498 m

The name of Şanlıurfa in Hellenistic period was Edessa. Syrians formed Kingdom of Osroene, making Edessa the capital in 132 B.C. The state living connected to Rome later was eliminated in 244 A.D.


The city is called “City of Prophets” because of Abraham, Eyyub, Suayb and Elyasa who were believed to live in Şanlıurfa. There are various remains in Urfa Castle which’s construction date is unknown. The most interesting works in here are two columns with Corinthian Heads in height of 17 meters. These columns were erected during Osroene (Edessa) King Ma IX period  (240-242 A.D.)

Rahman and Ayn-i Zeliha lakes also known as the Pool of Sacred Fish are one of the most visited attractions of the city. According to the religion books, King Nemrut threw Prophet Abraham who fought against pagans into the fire and it is claimed that this event was held in Urfa Castle. After seeing this, Zeliha, adopted daughter of Nemrut, jumps into 

the fire. Allah orders to fire that “O fire! Be cool and peaceful to Abraham”. Thus, fire turned into water and firewood into fishes. The place where Prophet Abraham fell was called Halil-ur Rahman Lake and Zeliha fell was called Ayn-i Zeliha Lake.

It is unknown when or by whom the Ulu Mosque which is located in the center of the city was built. It is believed to be built in the second half of the 12th century. It was built on Red Church which was named because of the red marble columns. Gümrük Han as one of the most beautiful examples of the city was built in 1562. There are bazaars protecting their historical features as the old trade center around this Han. Şanlıurfa is also famous with its famous Sıra Nights where bitter coffee and tea are served, raw meatballs and desserts are eaten, music is played. Sıra nights are not only for entertainment, but it is also an environment for talking serious issues, chatting and creating solidarity environment.

Must-see places

Harran, Fish Lake, Urfa’s Bazaars.

Do Not Return Without Doing

Food: Raw meatballs, Urfa Kebab, İsot, Şıllık Dessert, Paliza, and Bostana.

Shopping: Gold and silver jewelry (Rustling), Hızma, handcraft products.