TRAVEL

Weekend Getaway

Off to Mardin for two days

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This weekend, we are leaving İstanbul for a trip to Mardin. And what better name to ask than Bilgen Coşkun about the dynamism, culture and gastronomy in the city? Have a great and magical escape!

Mythologies and Mardin

Sitting on the terrace of a medieval mansion and looking over Mesopotamia during the sunset makes you feel that you are in a special place. This is not only because of the impressive color palette and topography but also the stories being told in this sacred land over centuries.  Listening to these myths in the context of art made my trip to Mardin unforgettable.

The 3rd Mardin Biennial is curated by a collective, constituted mostly of locals and dedicated to the mythologies. Mardin Biennial suggests an alternative approach by questioning a single curator deciding who to exhibit, what to exhibit and how to exhibit. Mor Efrem Monastery and German Headquarters are the two main exhibition spaces besides the other unique spaces some of which are abounded. Visiting Mardin Biennial right after the world’s biggest art event, Venice Art Biennial made me think that this alternative approach for curating of art is definitely worth to explore deeply.

What to see in Mardin?

Kasımiye Medrese is a mind blowing spiritual site with its architectural depiction of the life cycle. Ulu Mosque from the Artuqid Period serves a unique geometrical and complex architecture with its dome and minaret. Mardin Castle serves you one of the best views over the old city and Mesopotamia while taking you to a dreamy tour with its superb stonework. Kayseriyye and Revaklı Bazaar consist of galleries where you can find various spices, soaps, jewellery shops and many other craftsmen.

Where to stay?

Mardius Hotel is converted into a boutique hotel from a medieval mansion in the old city. The renovation is done with respecting the historical structure and

addressing the needs and wants of an urban traveller with style.

Where to eat?

Bağdadi was my best culinary experience in Mardin. I recommend Kaburga Dolması and Kara Erik Kebabı for foodies. The delicious meze platter could be a good option for vegetarians. Antik Sur is a restaurant inviting you to a local experience with its carefully selected menu and live local music. The restaurant is located in a caravansary from the 17. Century; a perfect place for dine & dance in a Mardin way.

What do discover around Mardin?

Deyrulzafaran Monastery is built on a 4000 years old pagan temple and an absolute must see. After having fish for lunch in Beyazsu you should head to Hasankeyf  to enjoy your local coffee (Mırra) and look over the dreamy historical site.

 

 

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