Heskîf (Hasankeyf)

Hasankeyf, a city of ancient origins, is presently located in the Batman Province of southeast Turkey. It is beautifully set along the Tigris River, which greatly influences the mi

  • Descriptions
  • Travel info
  • Comments
  • On the map

Hasankeyf, a city of ancient origins, is presently located in the Batman Province of southeast Turkey. It is beautifully set along the Tigris River, which greatly influences the mild climate there as opposed to other nearby destinations with less ideal weather.

 

Hasankeyf dates back to the Bronze Age and is among the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world, possibly even as old as 10,000 years. It was once a Roman fortress and later, during the Byzantine Empire, it was a bishopric. In 640 AD the Arabs overtook the city, renaming it Hisn Kayf. During the 12th century, the 

 

Artukids and Ayyubids (a clan of Kurds) retook possession and built the stately Tigris River Bridge, the Small Palace, and the Great Palace. The city was fortunately situated along the Silk Path, likely traversed by even Marco Polo. Later, in 1515, the city became part of the Ottoman Empire and remains part of Turkey today.[i] 

__________________________________________________

 

[i] Diane M. Bolz. "Endangered Site: The City of Hasankeyf, Turkey." Smithsonian Magazine. March 2009. Retrieved 2014-04-22.

There are many, many sites (around 300) to explore in Hasankeyf. Any local resident can point you the way to some spot of interesting history. Popular tourist sites include the Citadel, several mosques including the Ulu Mosque, the Great Palace, the Tigris Bridge, many nearby man-made cliff-dwelling caves, the cylindrical mausoleum of Zeynel Bey, and the cubicle Imam Abdullah tomb.

Perhaps the most famous of these sites is the large Medieval bridge crossing the Tigris River. There are only ruins of it remaining, but those stones date to around 1116 AD. This site can be easily viewed from the city center.

Important note: The safety status of this city is currently unknown, as the building of a government funded dam seriously threatens this location. If the current government's plan for releasing the waters pulls through, Hasankeyf will be flooded and many historical sites destroyed or will go underwater.

Similar Attraction