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Embark on a day tour of Sanliurfa and Gobeklitepe to discover the oldest known human-made religious site in the world and through an area of immense spiritual significance to both Christians and Muslims. You will also see and explore some interesting ancient architecture in an equally ancient town alongside the ruins of an old religious institution of higher learning.
This tour of Sanliurfa and Gobektilipe is like a walk back in time. Get prepared for lots of history as you walk through sites that are a sight to behold apart from their historical significance.
Is this a depiction of Toxodon, or is it some creature of the artist’s imagination?
Your tour of the region will start at one of the most important archaeological sites in the world, Gobeklitepe. The site is home to what may be the world’s oldest temple, built around 12,000 years ago. Explore this old temple: older than writing and pottery itself, and walk the steps taken by ancient faithful as they exercised their beliefs…
We will then head to the city referenced a couple of times in the Bible, Harran, which was once home to the patriarch Abraham. Since ancient times, the city has always been important, but it’s now famous for its beehive homes. The town’s historical residents built these unique structures to shield themselves from the region’s hot sun characteristic.
Explore these ancient structures and relax in their cool interiors as you learn more about them. After the beehive homes, we’ll head over to the 8th-century ruins of the world’s first Islamic university. Stroll the pavements walked by Muslim scholars as they translated and studied natural sciences, philosophy, astronomy, and medicine in the university.
Once afternoon strikes, we head over to a local restaurant in Sanliurfa, where you will get to sample spicy kebabs filled with the delicious flavors of Southeastern Turkey.
After treating ourselves to a tasty local meal, we then head over to places of great significance to Christians and Muslims. One of these is the Abraham cave, which local tradition says is the birthplace of Abraham.
The other is the highly sacred Abraham Pool, whose origin is explained by a quite miraculous tale that our guide will narrate during the visit.
Your tour of the region will conclude in Turkey’s largest museum complex, the Archeology and Mosaic Museum. The museum opened up in 2015. Visit the mosaic section in the northern part of the museum and set your eyes upon Orpheus’s mosaic, created in 184.
We’ll then head over to the Archeology section to the south. View Assyrian, Hittite, and Babylonian artifacts in one of the exhibition halls, and Chalcolithic, Neolithic, and Bronze Age items in the others. Also, enjoy ancient sculpting in the form of the oldest life-size human sculpture globally, at 9,500 years old.
After a day of touring this biblical land, you will be transported to Sanliurfa airport or your hotel, depending on where you’re residing.
Sanliurfa is perfectly safe to travel to and just as Cappadocia in Central Anatolia, Southeastern Turkey is also ok to visit.
If you are traveling from Istanbul, there are direct flights available to Sanliurfa which is a super easy task even if you have limited time and would like to cover the sites in one full day.