Soul of the Garden

Images of Turkey


The ruins of the first Islamic University in the world at Harran - in the desert twelve miles from the Syrian border.

Harran, outside of Urfa was one of the most evocative places we visited. One of the oldest continuously inhabited places on earth, there are archeological ruins here dating back nearly 13,000 years. This desolate place has always been on the frontier between great empires and we saw Hittite, Roman, Byzantine, Caliphate, and Seljuk ruins. There is an enormous "tell" here - a pile of debris - the dust of ruins - that covers a huge area and rises at least 100 -150 feet above  the surrounding landscape. I have read of famous battles that took place here between the Romans and Persians, and during our visit I was told about the great university that stood here but was destroyed by the Mongols . A fascinating place.


Ruins of the university.


A Byzantine church and fortress built on top of a Hittite temple.




Present day inhabitants.


Children of Harran. An older sister looking after the youngest of her family.


Selling trinkets to the tourists.


Our guides & friends, Kaan Turkyilmaz and Yetkin Yildirim.


Desert light.

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