Mardin Castle restored by climbers

Mardin Castle restored by climbers

MARDİN – Doğan News Agency
Mardin Castle restored by climbers

The structure of the Mardin Castle is a handicap for the construction of a scaffold. As such, professional climbers are working on the reinforcement of the castle. DHA Photo

Archaeological works have been accelerated on the Mardin Castle, known as the “Eagle Nest,” with a trained restoration team working on preventing stones and rocks from falling on the houses and historic structures in the outskirts of the castle.

The castle was partly restored at the time of Ottoman Sultan Selim III and was taken under restoration again after many years. The contractor company brought special steel barriers from Italy to reinforce the areas where rocks and stones fall from time to time.

The climbers’ reinforcement works begin early in the morning at the altitude of 1085 and continue until late. The structure of the castle is a handicap for the erection of a scaffold. All the while, residents of the city curiously watch the climbers.

Mardin Deputy Governor Ali Güldoğan said the castle, which had been transferred to the Turkish Armed Forces, would open to tourism after the works were done. He said they had applied many times since 2008 for the military unit to leave the castle and open it to tourism. “We have made progress about this issue, but have not received a result yet,” he said.

Reinforcement works have been continuing in the part of the historic castle that overlooks the city. Archaeological works and restorations are also continuing in the military area of the castle. A nearly 900-year-old mosque from the Artuklu era will also be restored and open to worship.

The Mardin Museum Provincial Director Nihat Erdoğan said within the scope of a protocol signed with the Turkish Armed Forces, when the works are done, all churches, mosques and palaces around the castle would be opened to visits.

The highest point

The castle is 1200 meters above sea level and 600 meters above ground. It is the highest point overlooking the old town of Mardin, which rises out of the side of a hill.

Mardin has witnessed the Assyrian, Persian, Roman, Byzantium, Umayyad, Abbasid, Seljuk, Hamdani, Artuklu, Karakoyunlu, Akkoyunlu, Safevi and Ottoman eras, without ever losing its importance. According to history, King Şad Buhari, a Zorastrian, arrived in Mardin Castle in 330 A.D. The ill King had a summer-place built and lived in Mardin for 12 years. Because he recovered during his stay in the castle, he brought many soldiers and civilians from his country, Persia, to relocate them in Mardin. Many improvements were seen after their arrival until 442 A.D. In 442 A.D. a terrible plague epidemic made the city an intolerable place to live.