The UNESCO Sites of Türkiye: Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens


5 Minute

The UNESCO Sites of Türkiye: Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens


Mesopotamia is one of the geographical areas where various developments took place that can be considered as milestones in the millennia-old history of humankind, and where many civilizations rich in history emerged. The land situated between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris and fertile by their waters has been a favorable settlement area for people for thousands of years. Some of these areas, which have also witnessed various political struggles and battles, are located within the borders of Türkiye, where these two legendary rivers originate. Diyarbakır, which is identified with the Tigris River, and Diyarbakır Fortress, which is the most significant symbol of the city with its thousands of years of history, are also among the most important cultural assets of the region. The Hevsel Gardens, which cover an area of about seven hundred hectares between the Diyarbakır Fortress and the Tigris River, beautify the city like an ornament that nature places on this cultural wealth. Diyarbakır Fortress and the cultural area of Hevsel Gardens, two symbols that are among the most important sources of pride for the people of Diyarbakır, were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015. Let's get to know this area together, which reflects the unique cultural richness and wonderful nature of Mesopotamia.


Diyarbakır's İçkale Museum Complex


The Diyarbakır Fortress, which provided security for a city that maintained its importance from the Roman, Sasanid and Eastern Roman empires to the Ottoman Empire, is a majestic structure worth visiting with its 5800 meter long walls. The historical structure, which can be divided into two parts, an inner and an outer castle, is considered one of the most magnificent defense lines in the world with its 4 gates on the 7000 year old walls. Diyarbakır's İçkale Museum Complex has a total of 82 bastions, including the Benusen, the Seven Brothers (Yedi kardeşler), the Nur and the Seljuk bastions, each of which bears traces of the period in which it was built. In addition, the part of the castle called Dağ Kapı (Gate) or Harput Kapı (Gate) Bastion is used as a Tourist Office and a State Fine Arts Gallery. 

Diyarbakır's İçkale Museum Complex, most of which has been preserved to this day and is a unique structure, confronts its visitors with a monumental piece of human history with its walls, gates, bastions and inscriptions.


Hevsel Gardens


The fertile Hevsel Gardens, stretching as far as the eye can see along the banks of the Tigris River, are a part of Diyarbakır that seems to have fallen from the sky. This legendary natural beauty of the city creates a habitat that responds to the needs of different species through the flora growing on its fertile soils. As the most important bird habitat, more than 180 bird species can be observed in Hevsel Gardens. Hevsel Gardens also hosts mammals such as otters, foxes, martens, squirrels and hedgehogs. Hevsel Gardens is believed to have a history dating back 8,000 years, which is consistent with the history of the region, which also has a deep-rooted history in terms of human settlement. From this point of view, Hevsel Gardens is a very important representative of the garden culture, which is characterized by its geography in addition to its natural sources.

The area, which stands out as a public asset, has acquired a symbolic quality among the historical and cultural assets of the city and has been a source of inspiration for the creation of many artistic products.


It can be said that Hevsel Gardens, with its greenery stretching to the horizon, is in a way a visual summary of Mesopotamia, "the cradle of civilizations", with its natural, cultural and historical value for those who look from the walls of Diyarbakır Fortress.


Another structure that you must see in the Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape is the Ten-Arched Bridge (On Gözlü Köprü). The bridge, also called Dicle Bridge and Silvan Bridge, is located outside Mardin Gate in Diyarbakır Fortress. 


The bridge, known to have been built by the Marwanids who ruled the region in the 11th century, is a fascinating sight with its ten spans over the Tigris River from which it takes its name. The Diyarbakır Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape, which are enshrined in folk songs, poems, ancient tales and in the hearts of the people of Diyarbakır, await your visit. 


Do not forget to include Diyarbakır in your itinerary to see this beauty of Mesopotamia, which has given its jewel to many civilizations, with a generosity that fits on a single horizon.