About one and a half hours east of Mardin, easily connected by a direct dolmuş, lies the equally historical city of Midyat. Midyat, much like Mardin, is also a culturally heterogeneous city with a strong Syriac Christian history and presence. Lining the streets of the new city are boutique shops selling locally grown Syriac wine or newly made silver jewelry
Whereas the old city of Mardin though is entirely located on a hill, giving it an amazing feeling of looking down upon or up at the city wherever you are, Midyat is unfortunately located on a flat plain. Robbed of this matter of elevation – with also a much smaller old city to speak of – Midyat is less a main attraction and more a sideshow between seeing Mardin and the rest of the area.
If you do find yourself in Midyat, make sure to see the historical guest house (konuk evi) located in the heart of the old city. With a total of three floors and an upper observatory deck on the roof, the guest house provides an unparalleled view of the rest of the city. The building itself is also beautiful, constructed in an older Middle Eastern style from the same sandstone bricks as the rest of old Mardin and old Midyat.
The insides of the guest house are also perfectly preserved, and offer a slice of life of the Ottoman period close to the borders of Syria. If you find yourself in Mardin, do not pass up the guest house. It may just be the best thing you see there – as well as one of the most beautiful buildings you’ll see in this part of Turkey.
Unfortunately I don’t have many pictures to share; Midyat was in a state of constant downpour during our visit.