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Turkey / Haran
The navel of Anatolia
The city where, according to legend, moved Adam and Eve when they were evicted from paradise
Either start from Istanbul or the coast of Asia Minor, the bus ride to the East is tedious. It is, however, unique experience. The services of the Turkish transport bus here is notorious and make your trip as comfortable as possible. All times are many, the eye meets thousands of small villages that seem to be in the same place for centuries. Once reaches xapostainei in "Muslim Venice", the Sanli Urfa, namely 'Divine Urfa. "
The inhabitants, Turks, Arabs and Kurds are very hospitable, members of a huge family which falls relentlessly. O Seleucus, after the death of Alexander the Great had given the name of Edessa, which still use some Greeks and Armenians. Birthplace of the prophet Abraham, the city charms with intense traffic, the endless bazaars with very beautiful merchandise, smells of spices, noise.
Many travelers, like us, prefer to stay here. And relying on a town where one can meet its basic needs, dash out to goiteftikotati Haran.
Located 40 km from Sanliurfa then is the city Xaran. The name, according to the Sumerians, it means travel, caravan or crossroads. Strategically located in the southeast of Turkey, and is a clear geopolitical origins of the name. For 4,000 years, the Haran without actually ever changed name, attracted many people and continues to be one of the oldest cities on Earth that has never ceased to be inhabited. The first inhabitants were pagans Mesopotamians.
The gods of Mesopotamia, Christianity and especially Islam left their footprints there. Holy city that attracts pilgrims, often referred to in the Bible, since it was the place where Abraham lived when, fleeing from Sanliurfa, heading for the Promised Land. It was also the place where his father died. The religiosity of this city, however, has always been important, as it was for centuries the Assyrian center of worship of the moon god Sin.
Addition to religiosity, especially important and notable was the spiritual life of this place. The University of Haran, dating from antiquity, was widely known, far beyond and from Anatolia to the great minds that gave to mankind and the great research work that were carried within it.
For example, the Sabit bin Kurra, one of the most important physicists and mathematicians of the 9th century AD it was he who brought the works of Greek philosophers in the Arabic language. Also, al-Battani (9th century), astronomer and mathematician, calculated the current measurement system of the year, the seasons, the equinoxes. But other, physicists, mathematicians, astronomers, theologians, hosted at the University of Haran.
The city lies between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey seems to be the navel of Mesopotamia. Thanks to its geographical position, lived glorious peak times until it was almost completely destroyed by the invasion of the Mongols in 1250. The Xaran, who was always known as the most important cultural center, was never able to regain its prosperity. However, this historic town today welcomes visitors with style aged but wise and condescending lady.
From far dominates the Ulu Cami. Are standing next to the low houses and the ruins of the old university. In the 8th century, was a center of prayer and study and reached an impressive height of 40 meters. The Ulu Cami is the oldest and largest mosque in Anatolia. It was built in 750 and impresses mainly with stone work which survive today.
As one crosses the threshold of the city, he meets with surprise homes weirdly-shaped artistic, one next to another, all look like hives. Made of mud, it's like they sprang from the soil. Large ones and those in age-estimated to be over 3,000 years old-is cool in summer and warm in winter. In conical roofs display them small holes that allow you to let in fresh air. Inside, the light dimmed and mood reminiscent religious temple. This is also due the austere also in harmony with the land, furnishings and ceremonial reverence with which all their jobs done.
Conical these homes are the hallmark of Haran. It is the first image that comes to your mind reminiscing your visit here. This method homebuilding is unique. Some are still living in them, although now mostly used as warehouses. Some are so designed so that the visitor can understand the living conditions there. Residents say that they were built by the ruins of the old city and the oral tradition within these chickens are being born many more eggs, animals are always very calm, vegetables to sprout quickly and the food to stay fresh much longer.
Other attractions are the walls and the fort. Obviously, what is left of them. The walls encircle the city deleting about four kilometers. Had 187 small towers and six gates. Of these, only one survives. The fort was the culmination of the wall southeast of the city, but little survives.
It seems unthinkable that place to get into the stream of modern progress, but you meet everywhere wires electricity and occasionally no satellite dish and, of course, the city's water system. The residents are Arabs. There is a version that came to the area in the 18th century during the Ottoman Empire. Live well with very poor and live their traditions. Distant, untouched by tourists who flock to town, riding on donkeys or on foot, dealing with agricultural work. Each family has about 10 or more children, who always approaching tourists asking for sweets or whatever one wishes to give them.
A tradition that comes from old wants residents Xaran make tattoos on their face using natural dyes and needles. Tattoos symbolize wild animals, weapons, items from everyday life and become the face of young children to bring them luck.
The color is constantly updated, in order not to lose ever as the person ages. Most often we see women painted their faces. Women, in fact, still wear traditional clothes and Bedouin.
In the '80s, the great plain of Haran was scrapped because of the drought of two rivers in the area. But now the area under the development program of Anatolia and gradually meet, enabling residents to produce cotton and rice.
HOW TO GET TO HARAN
From Athens access can be done via Istanbul with Turkish Airlines, Olympic or Aegean. Anyone who has time and inclination can reach Istanbul alternative bus or train. From there the journey continues by bus, and there is a link for the city of Sanliurfa. The Turkish transport network is internationally known for its excellent level of service available and the journey to the depths of Anatolia is particularly interesting. However, there is also the solution of the plane from Istanbul bound for Sanliurfa. From Sanliurfa enough minibuses operate daily every hour to Haran.
The cost of a return ticket to Istanbul starting from 300 euro and from there to Sanliurfa is about 100 euros. The bus costs 38 euro no return and the distance covered in 17 hours.
When to go to Haran
The best times to visit the area is spring and summer due to good weather. The high season is from July to September. The weather during these months is cool, but not annoying cold.
WHERE TO STAY IN HARAN
In neither driver are registered accommodation in Haran. You must find nobody there to find place to stay. There is
(Tel. +90 414 4412020)
But if you do not frighten the crowding with the locals, you can stay in a home. Most commonly, the visitors left Haran in Sanliurfa, which is much larger and much more organized city, and arrange a day trip to Haran. To stay in Sanliurfa note the following hotels:
(Tel: +90 212 516 75 53, fax: +90 212 516 8882)
Several facilities and amenities that one might consider scarce in these areas, such as air-condition and satellite TV can also take credit cards.
In the same category belongs the
(Tel: +90 212 516 75 53, fax: +90 212 516 88 82) Prices start from 40 euros single and reach 80 euros for a double room.
(Tel: +90 (0) 41431 53520) Significantly cheaper option but quite comfortable and simple.
There are also several private hostels, offering guests the opportunity to live with the locals and become acquainted with the manners and customs of the area.
WHERE TO EAT IN HARAN
The famous local delicacy is the cig kofte (pronounced tsikofte). Will literally say "raw meat" and is actually a mixture of raw meat with lots of spices and vegetables. Usually served on a piece of lettuce and accompanied by cold screed that soothe the burning. Recommended only for those with a strong stomach. Otherwise, you can eat wonderful kebabs and other delicious dishes in restaurants of Sanliurfa. If you're staying in the hostel a home will surely please every day at the family table. Most luxurious hotels have at least one restaurant serving local dishes and international cuisine. Vegetarians can enjoy the local soup, which is exceptional.
ACTIVITIES IN HARAN
The hospitality of the inhabitants of the region are perionymi. Especially when it comes to any celebration, do not hesitate to open their doors to everyone, known and unknown, and invite them to their table. If you happen to find yourself in marriage, for example, do not hesitate to join the party. Besides, it takes three to four days, with music, horns and sirens excite the neighborhoods even in the nights.
OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST
• Balikli Gol - the sacred lake of Sanliurfa
The most famous attraction of the city and the most sacred point. Many believers arrive daily to pay homage to the Prophet Abraham, the legend was born and raised here. The story wants Abraham to pay the pagan king Nimrod to death in a fire. The fire however turned into water and logs in fish. Carp in the lake are also considered sacred.
• The festival bird Birecik
H Birecik is a very picturesque southern city of Sanliurfa, where every year the festival bird as a rare bird species found only there anymore. Ideal city for a stop, especially for nature lovers.
MINUTES AND NECESSARY ABOUT HARAN
The inhabitants of Haran is very poor, so it would not show off expensive accessories. No risk of theft, just be challenging. Do not forget that you are in a Muslim country, so respect their manners and customs. Enough considered abusive alcohol consumption and showing affection dimosios.I help of a tour guide in Haran is rather useful, since the residents do not speak any foreign language.
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