Deyrulzafaran Monastery
Deyrulzafaran Monastery
4.5
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles709 reviews
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Serhat K. Y
Istanbul, Türkiye200 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
There is nothing much to say about it really about this place.
It is one of best and oldest Christian temple belongs to Keldanis/Suryanis the region.
We have tried Kurdish coffee, Suryani cookie and local tea with cinnamon and clove. They were all tasty.
Written 6 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BrakiWorldTraveler
Belgrade, Serbia18,666 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
This is a very interesting excursion from Mardin. I suggest combining it with Dara Mesopotamian ruins which are just further south on the same road, if you have your own rented car.
From Mardin the Saffron Monastery is around half an hour drive, and around the same you need further south to Dara (more about it you can read in my separate Dara review).
If you don't have your car you can arrange a taxi or pay for a tour, which both are more expensive. Entry to the Monastery is just a few bucks.
The Saffron Monastery dates back even to pre Roman era, when the first pagan Temple was built there - very fascinating to see, a cave like Temple built with huge stone blocks without any binding materials.
This is just one out of 4 Temples you can visit here. Other 3 are: The All Saints Temple, Virgin Mary Church and the New Church which used to be the seat of the Syrian Orthodox Church for centuries, from 12c to 1932 when it was moved to Damascus, but the throne is still kept here.
The ticket also includes a tour guide, but beware the tours are pretty much disorganized and mostly in Turkish. You need to find an English guide which we did after some 10 min and had her only for ourselves as we were the only foreigners there.
Count on around an hour for entire visit.
Written 30 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nil T
52 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021 • Business
Such a nicely preserved Monastery, they also have a guide provided and he is really informative. If you are visiting the area you MUST visit this place and definitely buy wine which they make from their own vineyards.
Written 1 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Utku and Berdan
Mardin, Türkiye5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021
when we first step on it, something is trembling in your heart, they used to whorship to sun thousand years ago in this place
Written 24 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Fifi C
Istanbul, Türkiye3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021 • Friends
A must see in Mardin, a bit far out from the centre but you can hire a car or take a taxi. We asked our hotel to arrange, and it took like 15 mins to get there from the old.town.
Written 13 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Erhan Yildirim
Türkiye2,383 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020
Ancient people of Mesopotamia, Syriacs
In this article, we will try to explain the history of the Syriac community, whose origins belong to the fertile crescent and Mesopotamian geography. In the last half century, many studies have been done on the origins of the Assyrians, their traditions and customs, their lifestyles; it definitely proves that they are a people of the fertile crescent land. There are generally 2 basic views about the origins of the Assyrians. The first view bases the origins of the Syriacs on the Arameans, one of the ancient peoples of the fertile crescent. Advocates of this view say that the name Syriac comes from an aramean king. In addition, the name tells that the Aramaic people, who adopted Christianity in the 1st AD century, called themselves Syriacs. The reason is that they want to separate from the pagan arameans, who are their descendants. This is the view basically defended by the Jacobian, which are the biggest branch of the Syriacs today. turkey, Jacobians living in Syria and Iraq emigrated to the world in many countries. One of the main evidences of this view is that the language spoken by the Syriacs is the Aramaic language.
Another view is the view that traces the origins of the Syriacs to the Assyrians. This view is adopted by Nestorian people living in Iran today. Akkads, Assyrians,Babylonians,Arameans …The languages of all these peoples are of sami origin and they could easily live together. According to the Nasturis, the Syriacs are a common nation formed by all races. The most evident evidence of this view is that the Assyrians established many cities in the regions where Syriacs live today and they were very influential in Mesopotamia geography. Before Christ, many archaeological inscriptions and evidence show that the origin of the Syriacs may be Assyrians.
it is written in the sources that the lineage of the Syriacs went to 2500 BC to sam, Son of Noah, and Aram, son of Sam.
after Rome accepted Christianity as an official religion in the 4th AD century.on the basic principles and belief systems of Christianity, consuls began to gather to determine decisions and principles..The first believers in Jesus were forced into various tortures, massacres and migrations by the Roman during the period of nearly 3 centuries until the Roman acceptance of Christianity as the official religion.The desire of Rome to control Christians through the councils may be considered as a cause of divergence of opinion for the churches(Nikea ,Istanbul, Ephesus).However, the Kalkedon Council is known as the consul, which caused the greatest division in the history of Christianity by the Roman, who wanted to control and use eastern Christianity and its churches.The main issues of separation were the principles of faith and the organization((Monothelitism -.Dyothelitism ) of the churches.In addition, the control of the eastern churches to the Istanbul church is another reason for the great differences.Eastern Churches; possession of worldly riches and the official who wants to base his love of earthly life he opposed the church's theses.There were Syriacs, Copts, Ethiopians and Syrians among these eastern churches that were separated in the first place.the Council of kadıköy was a harbinger of great separation among the Syriacs.Syriacs who opposed the council were pressured by the Roman and Western churches, and some of them were exiled and called nesturis.the reason they are called nesturis is because of bishop Nestorius.the Syriacs, oppressed by the Western churches and Rome, began to stand closer to the Parthians and Sassanids, where they lived in the same geography.but it was not easy for Syriacs to live their religion in this kingdom, where Zoroastrianism and Mithraism were adopted.in its simplest form, this separation was due to nesturios ' claims and views on diophysicity.the Jacobins , today called the ancient Orthodox Church and located in Turkey, Syria and Iraq, were at the beginning of the 6th AD century during the time of Emperor Anastasius and Queen Theodora, Jacobins acquired an official status and many churches and monasteries were established in mardin and around the region called tur abdin(Monothelitism ).the jacobins took these names from Jacob Baradaeus (Baradei), who lived in the 5th century.During the 5th,6th and 7th centuries, some of the Syriacs were supported by the Sassanids(nesturis-diophysite), and the other part was supported by Rome(jacobins-Monophysite).currently, nesturis call themselves Assyrians and usually live in the geography of iran.the jacobins, on the other hand, call themselves ancient Orthodox Syriacs and usually live in Turkey and Syria.some Syriacs who accepted the terms of the Chalcedonian consul and feared the Roman Emperor Marcianus are called the Melkite Church (malkoye melkit).the word malkoye melkit means adherents of the King. these Syriacs(malkoye melkit), now called Greek Orthodox, have translated their language from Syriac to Arabic.the Melkites, on the other hand, later experienced another division within themselves in the 8th century and established a Patriarchate in Lebanon called the Marunis..
again, the ancient people of Mesopotamia, called Chaldeans today, separated from the nesturis in the 15th century and formed the Catholic Syriacs.both the Crusades and the missionary activities that intensified in the later centuries brought 2 more divisions to the Syriacs.especially after the 17th century, the Syriac Catholic patriarchy was first established, and in the 19th century, Protestant Syriac Catholicism was established...
Written 11 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Edin Krnic
Tuzi, Montenegro3,701 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020 • Solo
The best way is to get taxi to visit this Monastery or to come with agency for maximum one hour. Recimended
Written 25 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Erhan Yildirim
Türkiye2,383 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
The Za’faran, or Mar Hananya’s Monastery, is an ancient, spacious and well built edifice. It is one of the greatest and famous monasteries of Beth Nahrin(Mesopotamia).
It is built on a mound about 25 minute distance east of
Mardin (Turkey).
The monastery’s building measures 36 x 71 meters fortified by a strong wall.
The monastery’s buildings are solid but not symmetrical because they
were built in different times. They consist of two stories except those located in the southern part of the monastery, are of three stories. They are the best buildings of the monastery. They house rooms for the residence of patriarchs and cells for monks. Traces of its original edifices built with bricks, and large carved stones are still visible in its temples and the ceilings of the lower story. Of its exclusive buildings are the Church of Mar Hananya, the Church of the Sayyida (the Virgin Mary), the Church of the Patriarchal Throne, the Mausoleum (burial place) of the Fathers and the Paradise.
THE CHURCH OF MAR HANANYA
This church is located in the eastern part of the monastery. It was built with great precision by Mar Hananya II, Bishop of Mardin and Kafartut, (793–816). It is still intact despite that it was built more than eleven centuries ago. The Church of Mar Hananya has three altars topped by Holy of Holies.
This church has five gates. The southern gate is big and made of
wood. It is inscribed with verses from the Psalms of the Prophet David and poetry of Mar Balai. Its walls were ornamented by fine pictures said to be of medium ancientness. Of these are the baptism of the Lord, His Transfiguration,Resurrection, Ascension to heaven, and the transportation of Mar Awgen (Eugene) remains to the Za’faran Monastery. Through time however,some of these pictures faded and lost splendor. In 1903, Patriarch ‘Abd al-Masih II, had the walls of the church plastered thus losing whatever beauty they had. I wish he did not do such a thing. What is left is the portrait of Mar Hananya, founder of the monastery, in the southern part of the monastery. It measures 2 meters and 7 centimeters long and 66 centimeters wide. Inscribed on it in the Estrangelo script is the following, “The Saint Mar Hananya.”
At the south-west corner of the church of Mar Hananya, stands an old
cylindered belfry reached by stairs from the inside. It is topped by a new
dome erected by Dionysius Behnam Kayyal of Mosul, metropolitan of
Ma’dan, in 1878.
THE SAYYIDA (VIRGIN MARY) CHURCH
Located in the northern part of Mar Hananya’s Monastery, this church
measures 10 meters and 75 centimeters long and 14 meters and 25 centimeters wide. Some of it is built with bricks. It is ancient dating back to the fifth or the sixth centuries as evidenced by its structure. We believe that it is the original church of the monastery. On its western side is a portico, its first nave, where the catechumens stood. This was common in the old churches of Tur ‘Abdin whose buldings date back to the beginning of the sixth century or a little later. Of these are the Church of Mar ‘Azazel in Kafarze, the church of the Monastery of Mar Abrohom in Midyat, the Church of Mar Shim’un in Habsnas and others. Today, the portico is separate from the Sayyida Church, but its gates leading to the second nave could still be seen.
On its altar and naves could be seen the vestiges of mosaic engravings. In its southern part stands a big baptismal font.
The Sayyida church has four altars each topped by a fine wooden Holy
of Holies erected in 1699. Some of them are inscribed with verses from the Psalms. They were renovated by Patriarch Jirjis II (1687–1708), of blessed memory.
CHURCH OF THE PATRIARCHAL THRONE
This church is a small temple sitting on top of the Sayyida Church. It measures 8 meters and 55 centimeters long and 7 meters and 4 centimeters wide.
It was built by Patriarch Jirjis II between 1696 and 1699, in the name of the Apostle St. Peter. He meant it to be the place where synods meet to elect a new patriarch. It was renovated and decorated by the Patriarchs Shukr Allah in 1727, Jirjis IV in 1773 and Jirjis V in 1830. The front of its altar is inscribed with verses from the Gospel in the Estrangelo script. Some of them pertain the Lord Christ calling Peter “the Rock.” (Matthew 16: 13–20). To the right of the altar is an inscription in the Weston Syriac script which gives the impression that on this spot rest the remains of some saints. It says, “Entombed here are the remains of saints.”
THE MAUSOLEUM, OR BURIAL CHAMBER OF FATHERS
Located in the southern part of Mar Hananya’s Church, the mausoleum is ancient and large. It is better known as Beth Qadishe (The House of Saints)dating back to the time of the building of the Church of the Patriarchal Throne about 1884. Patriarch Ignatius Butrus (Peter) IV,2 renovated its dome.3 It measures 10 meters and 55 centimeters long and 5 meters and 40 centimeters wide. It houses seven graves: three of which are for the burial of patriarchs. One of them is located at the upper part of the mausoleum; the two others are on its both sides. On the grave located to the south lies a big marble slab inscribed with the histories of the Patriarchs Jirjis II (d.1708), and Butrus (Peter) IV (d. 1894), in the Estrangelo and the Western scripts. The other four graves are for the burial of metropolitans. On one of them stretches a marble slab inscribed with the dates of Gregorius Behnam (d. 1846), metropolitan of the Za’faran Monastery. The remaining three graves have no dates. The table of the names of fathers buried in the mausoleum will be given later.
The monastery came under different names. In ancient times it was
called Mar Hananya’s Monastery. Then was added unto it the name of Mar Awgen (Eugene). But since the close of the fourteenth century it was known as the Za’faran Monastery. It was also called the Monastery of Mar Hananya, Mar Awgen and Mar Shlemon (Solomon) and the twelve thousand saints as shall be seen in Chapter Four.

Originally, the Za’faran Monastery was a strong fortress built by some Rum (Byzantine) kings when they ruled these countries. It was, and other buildings of the monastery, constructed with craven stones to the east of the village of Qal’at al-Imra’a beneath the Natif or Qatra (Water Dripping) Monastery, and south of the Qarqafta (Skull ) Monastery,4 in the Mardin Mountain.
A church was built in it which houses the remains of some
saints. Afterwards, it became known as Mar Shlemun (Solomon) Monastery.
But when the Persians attacked the Citadel of Mardin in 607 A. D.,5 they
destroyed it. It was left deserted until Mar Hananya the Syrian metropolitan of Mardin and Kafartut, bought it6 after 793, having lavished much gold on the rulers. He exerted great effort converting it into a famous monastery with a church and a sanctuary. He planted around it many different trees,
vineyards and olive groves. He enriched its library with many manuscripts.
He also had eighty monks join the monastery for which he enacted rules
and cared much for these. Thus, Mar Hananya became the renovator of this monastery and the symbol of its glory. For this reason, it bore his name to this day. In the neighborhood of the monastery he rebuilt the village of Qal’at al-Imra’a (colloquially, Qal’atmara) and made it the monastery’s endowment.
At that time, this village contained a thousand houses and three
Churches.
Written 12 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jonathan Wung
Istanbul, Türkiye388 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Couples
Very nice monastery with nice view. However could only go in with groups of tours, didn't understand anything they were saying but we just walked around ourselves and took beautiful photos.
Written 1 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DrArafat
Istanbul, Türkiye396 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Friends
We arrived with high expectation but we found small shopping center instead of monastery! The monastery rooms are either closed or will be under construction!
Written 30 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Deyrulzafaran Monastery, Alimli

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