Bitlis Ahlat Seljuk Tombs

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Ahlat Seljuk Square Cemetery

Ahlat, the most important point of the entrance gate to Anatolia, is the junction point of east-west synthesis; both geographical and historical features come to the fore.

It has become one of the three major science and art centers of the Islamic world with Belh (Afghanistan) and Bukhara (Uzbekistan) in the 13th century, it increased its importance of taking the title of “the dome of Islam”.

Ahlat, which dates back to the Neolithic Age, started with the Hurris in 4000s before Christ and remained under the rule of various states until the Ottomans. It has become a base for the transition from east to west before and after 1071 which was the opening date of the door of Anatolia to the Turks. Since the beginning of the 12th century it has been the capital of a branch of the Seljuks known as “Shah-Armens”.

Ahlat has been central to various civilizations throughout its history and has maintained its importance with its strategic importance and the natural beauties it possessed. The city, during the Byzantines "Khlat"; in the period of Syriacs "Khelath"; in the period of Arabs “Halat”; during  Iranians and Turks "Ahlat"; is pronounced as. In addition to the natural beauties it has, Ahlat is an open-air museum with many cultural and historical legacies such as mausoleums, tombs, baths, zaviye, garrison, fountains, castles, cemeteries, mosques, civil houses, archaeological sites and caves. One of the most important of these cultural heritage is the " Seljuk Square Cemetery Ruins ".

The "Seljuk Square Cemetery Ruins" is the biggest and most important one among many historical cemeteries in Ahlat. There are 32 tombstone craftsmen in the cemetery. Square Cemetery covering an area of 210,000 square meters, in the "Historic Islamic Cemeteries", it is the third in the world and in the first place in our country in terms of size.

The square cemetery has three general grave types: “Sahideli Sandukalı”, “Sandukalı” and  “Akıt”. It is learned that many scholars, clergy, culture men, craftsmen, craftsmen, lawmen, Sufis and clergymen were raised in Ahlat. The most important part of these gravestones is "cadres department".

On the eastern side of the tomb stones, the identity information of the burial was found, in some cases where the burial came from and the professional information. In addition to this information, there are double-headed dragon motifs seen in the Central Asian Turkish culture and muqarnas decorations in various rows and knits. On the western side, the name of the artist who made the tombstone, verses from the Qur'an, palmette, oil lamps, geometric motifs and herbal ornaments.
In the Sanduka section, there are Hadiths, which remind us of more deaths.

The tombs of "Ahlat Seljuk Square Cemetery" dated to the beginning of the 12th century to the 16th century, which are the title deeds of Anatolia, are the surviving representatives of the Orkhun Abide in Anatolia.

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08:00-17:00 Saturday 08:00-17:00 Sunday 08:00-17:00
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Bitlis Ahlat Seljuk Tombs İki Kubbe Mah. İyiler Mevkii Devlet Bahçeli Bulvarı Ağrı-Bitlis Yolu Ahlat/Bitlis.
ahlatmuzesi@ktb.gov.tr
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