Harran is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world. It is first documented around 2300 BCE. According to the Book of Genesis, Abraham stayed in Harran sometime around 1900 BCE. It was famous for the worship of Sin, the Moon God. Worship of the Moon, Sun and the planets was popular from 800 BCE to 800 CE.
Harran is famous for its beehive houses, whose design dates back to the 3rd century BCE. They were designed to construct buildings without wood.
The Kale (castle) with a mosque inside is interesting. There was originally a Hittite fortress. Today's castle is from 1059.
The Ulu Cami was built in the 8th century. It has very non-Turkish square minaret. It is said to be the oldest mosque in Turkey. It is also the site of the first Islamic university. On the hill are the ruins of old Harran, dating back 5000 years.
10 km (6 miles) east of Harran is an underground quarry that delivered the stones for the construction of the buildings in Harran.
Another 20 km (12 miles) east is the Seljuk Han el Ba'rur, a caravanserai, built in 1128.
About 12 km (7 miles) north-east of there is Şuayipşehri. The prophet Jethro is supposed to have lived there.
About 20 km (12 miles) north of Şuayıipşehri is the village Soğmatar. It was an ancient center for the worship of the Moon God Sin. There are seven hills around the village with shrines for the Moon, the Sun, and the five planets. In the village is a cave-temple with large figures carved out of the walls.
All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.
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Page last updated on Tue Sep 24 18:19:03 2019 (Mountain Standard Time)
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