Although many handicrafts have become history with the widespread industrial production in recent years, some of the traditional handicrafts continue to be kept alive in Şanlıurfa, which is one of the rare places where traditional lifestyle could be preserved. It is possible to see and touch many traditional handicraft products in the shops located in Kazaz Bazaar to the north of Gümrük Inn and in the workshops within Rızvaniye Külliye on the Balıklıgöl coast. Apart from these workshops, there are still several active workshops in different business lines in Sipahi Bazaar, Hüseyniye Bazaars and the surrounding covered bazaars.
One of the most important handicrafts in Şanlıurfa is weaving. Local cloths, abas, shawls, belts, local rugs and men’s headscarves are woven in small weaving looms called Çulha. In addition, felts of the city are considered as valuable as carpets in the region. Jewelry, one of the City’s oldest handicrafts, particularly woven and filigree wristbands made in carving and niello techniques, thin artwork cordons, and blazing are popular. Other handicrafts in Şanlıurfa include furriery, leather processing, silk processing, copper processing, kerchief making, beads making, comb making and stonery.
While visiting the unique historical richness of Şanlıurfa, do not forget to stop by these bazaars and closely examine these handicrafts, which are the wonderful products of the fine craftsmanship of Şanlıurfa craftsmen.
The Legendary Harran Plain... The lands where it is believed to be the first place where Adam and Eve set foot, where the plow was first used, and the ox harnessed to the plough for the first time... The hometown of the sacred temple of the mysterious lunar goddess Sin and the city where Abraham, the ancestor of monotheistic religions according to the Torah, lived for many years... Even touching the soil here is actually a return to your essence...
Harran, home to findings belonging back to the year 7,000 BC with a written history of almost 4,300 years, is located at the crossroads of the main trade routes connecting Mesopotamia to Asia Minor and the Mediterranean to Persian lands. Harran, which means “the land where the roads meet”, has a rich cultural accumulation due to this characteristic.
One of the three great schools of philosophy in the world is “Harran School”. Many world-famous scholars in the fields of religion, astronomy, medicine, mathematics and philosophy have been trained at Harran University, which has been known since the ancient times.
Harran is also very important in terms of the history of Islamic philosophy. Thābit ibn Qurra, one of the greatest mathematicians and physicians of his age, Al-Battani (called as Albategnius or Albatanius by Europeans), who correctly calculated the distance from the Earth to the Moon at that time, Jabir ibn Hayyan who, unlike Greek philosophers, argued that the smallest divisible part of substances can be broken down by a great energy and destroy a city such as Baghdat, therefore accepted as the explorer of atoms, are among the world-famous Islamic scholars trained in schools in Harran. Works and translations of the scholars who grew up in Harran made significant contributions to the formation of European civilization. The science of algebra spread from Harran to the world.
However, the first thing that comes to mind when we say Harran today is its iconic, conic-shaped houses. These houses were built 150-200 years ago with bricks collected from the ruins in Harran. Houses with rose oil, straw, terracotta and egg whites used in their mortar, which have the ability to keep cool in summer and warm in winters thanks to their architectural structure and materials, gradually narrow from the bottom to the top.
The Harran conical houses were registered as archaeological and urban site in 1979. After this date, the use of materials in the ancient site was prohibited and therefore the construction of new cupola houses ended.
Feel the coolness inside the cupola houses on a hot day, wear local clothes and touch the history of the city during your visit in Harran.
The caravanserai, which is 26 km to Harran and dated back to Ayyubid Period (1219). It is narrated, that Hacı Hüsameddin Ali Bey, who built the in, was filled with raisins to be given to passers-by or guests.
Shuaib Ancient City
This settlement, 13 kilometers after Han El-Ba’rur, is dated back to the Late Roman Period (4-5th centuries AD). In the two-story city, there is a structure made of stone blocks on the upper level and caves on the lower level. It is rumored that the Prophet Shuaib used a cave here as a house and temple. When Prophet Moses was a shepherd in this region, he took his famous staff from Prophet Shuaib. Ascending to Mount Sinai from here, Prophet Moses received his first revelation, and was assigned a prophet.
On the road to Han El-Ba’rur, there are historical stone quarries on both sides of the road. Based on the Arabic inscriptions written on the rocks, it is understood that this quarry was actively used in 13th century.
One of the things to experience in Halfeti, which has the title citta slow since 2013, is to take a boat tour on the Euphrates River. During this boat tour, you will sail between the canyons towards Rumkale and Savaşan while feeling the coolness of the legendary Euphrates River at your fingertips.
The most impressive feature of Rumkale is its magnificent location. Triangle shaped Rumkale is surrounded by deep cliffs on both sides. Additionally, high walls and a castle were built on the rocks.
It is rumored that Saint Ionannis, one of the apostles of Jesus, wrote a copy of the Bible and kept his drafts here. Also, the poet, St. Nerses I, held meetings here with imperial ambassadors to unite the sects in the 12th century. For these reasons, Rumkale is an area that is considered sacred and is frequently visited by Christians.
Savaşan is a historical settlement that was flooded by the waters of the dam. You can take photographs of houses, mosques and churches made of cut stone while resting in the tea gardens converted from old houses next to the village lake, accompanied by a gentle wind caressing your face.
In recent years, professional scuba diving has also become popular in Halfeti. You may encounter various underwater creatures during these dives. The most playful of these creatures is the serpent eel. If you get along well, it will dance for minutes under your flashlight. Underwater mosques, churches and mansions wait for you to explore them. Touching history in this fascinating atmosphere will be a very interesting experience.
Pigeon is a passion in Şanlıurfa. There are pigeon shelters on the walls of historical houses. In Şanlıurfa, people believe that where there are pigeons, there will not be any trouble or accident and there will be happiness and fruitfulness in the houses where pigeons are fed.
The pigeons, dominating the sky of the dreamy city, are one of the miracles making this city original and habitable. From the love towards pigeons in Şanlıurfa, you can witness, what unconditional and selfless love of a human for a creature looks like.. This bond between people and pigeons in Şanlıurfa will touch your heart.
It is a pleasure to watch the people of Şanlıurfa flying the pigeons they dress by attaching colorful earrings on their necks and anklets on their tiny feet. You can observe this unique bond of love closely and fly the pigeons to the sky from your palm at the “birdmen’s cafés” where pigeon enthusiasts gather or at the “Pigeon War”, which takes place as a festival once a year.