Hasankeyf Mound (Hasankeyf Höyüğü), at the Tigris River, carries the traces of the second half of the 10th millennium BCE, and archaeological excavations proof that it provided the soils for one of the very first settlements during the 10th millennium.
Hasankeyf was conquered by the Muslim armies during the time of Khalifah Omar (ra). The settlement, which witnessed the rule of the Umayyads, Abbasids, Hamdanids and Marwanids, was conquered by the Artuqids in 1102 and became their capital for a long time. After 1232 it came under the rule of the Ayyubids, then under the rule of the Aq Qoyunlu after 1462, and finally of the Ottomans after 1516. There are many examples of religious, military and civil architecture in Hasankeyf, which hosted great civilizations.
The calcareous land structure surrounding Hasankeyf from south and southeast provided the necessary conditions for the formation of an amazing landscape, creating the impression as if nature and human worked hand in hand to shape the deep and magnificent canyons and the cave houses in them. This region, with thousands of caves, is a rare natural wonder in the world.
Batman Museum and Museum Park
One of the important museums of the region, the Batman Museum (Batman Müzesi), has 3 exhibition halls, titled the Paleolithic-Neolithic, Ilısu and Hasankeyf Hall. The museum exhibits about 500 artefacts ranging from the Paleolithic period to the Middle Ages.
Mor Kuryakos Monastery
The Mor Kuryakos Monastery (Mor Kuryakos Manastırı) at the far end of the Turabidin region is considered sacred by Assyrian Christians, and has an important place among the nearly 80 churches and monasteries in this region.
There are many inscriptions written in Assyrian, including on the main gate at the entrance to the monastery, and on the arches and walls in the courtyards. The first inscription mentions a person named Salibo of Aleppo, but does not give any information about the date of the monastery's construction.
Hızır Bey Mosque
The Hızır Bey Mosque (Hızır Bey Cami) is located in the center of Kozluk district of Batman. It is the biggest mosque in the Kozluk district. It was built in 1485. The inscription of the mosque states that it was built by Hızır Bey.
İbrahim Bey Mosque
According to the inscription above the entrance door of the mosque, it was built in 1705. The minaret of the mosque is built on a five-sided pedestal. The art value of its architectural structure is of superior value and fine elegance. Additionally, the minaret was built with double stairways, one with 100 and the other with 99 steps.
It is built on a monolithic rock mass at an average height of 93 meters from the edge of the Tigris River. The citadel, also called the “upper town” (Yukarı Şehir) with its walls and magnificent gates in harmony with its natural structure, was built in the 4th century CE due to its strategic importance. It was used as a military base by the Roman Empire and was inhabited as a residential area until the 1970s.
The remains of the palaces for the families of the monarchs can be seen at the highest points of citadel, overlooking the whole area, with thousands of houses. In the valley to the east and south-east of the castle, there are many houses and shops that can be described as cave dwellings. Most of the houses here were carved into the rock, with wells and cisterns in front of many of them.
Another remarkable feature of the castle is the spring water extraction system from the Ayyubid and the Artuqids periods. Water was transported to the castle either through earthen pipe drains from higher positions, or from the wholes drilled into the rocks.
The entrance gate and the walls of the Citadel and the main structure of the outer Castle are from the Roman Period. The first building of the Great Mosque, as well as a part of the Great Castle, host the artifacts and works of the Artuqid State, which give the city its second identity. The current appearance of the Upper Town is mainly characterized by the Ayyubid Dynasty. The Small Palace, a part of the Grand Palace and the three castle gates were partially built or renovated by the Ayyubids. The caslte contains cultural assets, like the Grand Palace, the Small Palace, the Grand Mosque, and the Yusuf Ağa Mansion.
The Grand Palace
The Grand Palace (Büyük Saray) is situated at the highest part of the Castle, within the Citadel. The location as well as the extraordinary monumental dimensions of the building are proof of its importance. It is thought that the building, which was used as a garrison during Roman era, might have served as a palace during Artuqid and Ayyubid periods. The Grand Palace covers an area of about 2,300 m2. There are no inscriptions indicating the construction year of the palace. However, it is understood from its plans and architectural features that it was a Roman military garrison. There are interconnected large corridors, halls, and rooms of different sizes, as well as independent units, which indicate a military structure where the Guard troops, responsible for the defence of the Citadel, were housed.
The Small Palace
It is situated at the northeast end of the Castle, dominating the area. The rock mass was flattened and sculpted to create the appearance of a tower. Historical sources state that the Small Palace (Küçük Saray) was built by Ayyubid Sultan Mucureddin Muhammed. The rectangular building covered with a pointed barrel-vaulted cupola, is a single hall, panoramic mansion. Works are in process to elevate the site in order to protect it from water.
The Grand Mosque (Ulu Cami) is located on the north side of the Upper Town within the Citadel, and southwest of the palace's harem. It has been altered and has survived to the present day in a highly destroyed form. It is not known by whom and when it was built. It is believed that the castle was built on a Roman-era temple located at its highest point. With regards to its plan, and when considering its similarities with Artuqid-era mosques, it can be said that it is a post-Artuqid structure. Another view suggests that it might have been a church from pre-Artuqid period. Ayyubid Sultan al-Malik al-Adil Muricuddin Muhammad (726-736) is known for undertaking great architectural works after coming to power in 728/1325. The Grand Mosque was renovated after the 1930s, and other sections were added to the eastern and western parts. The area in front of its mihrab (the niche indicating the qibla) is a domed, rectangular shaped single hall. On the northern façade of the minaret, which is made of rubble stones, there is a plaster inscription and plaster ornamentation! There is a large courtyard at its north. The courtyard is installed with cut stone, and has a pool in front of the domed entrance-hall to the mosque and a water tank-cistern underneath the pool.
The Hasankeyf Museum (Hasankeyf Müzesi) received artefacts from Batman, Diyarbakır and Mardin museums. In addition to excavations at Hasankeyf, 20 artifacts from rescue excavations in Batman, Mardin, Siirt and Diyarbakir and artifacts received from the museums in Batman, Diyarbakır and Mardin, enriched the archaeological collection of the museum. The archeological collection, ethnographic artifacts and coins constitute the richest collection of the museum, which displayes 2973 artifacts from the Paleolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze, Iron, Medieval ages, and Roman, Artuqid and Ottoman periods.
Geomorphological stone-types and fossil finds from the prehistoric period are displayed in the lower and upper floor halls. Additionally, finds from the Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze Age, Iron, medieval, early modern and the first quarter of the 20th century were obtained from surveys and rescue excavations in 4 provinces throughout the region between the years 2000-2018. Also noteworthy are the animations regarding all eras.
In line with the work on the development of the soil and water resources of the Tigris River in the Southeastern Anatolia region - the historical settlement of Hasankeyf - efforts were carried out to protect and recover cultural assets affected by the water of the Ilisu Dam and hydroelectric power plant project, which was initiated by the Directorate General for State Hydraulic Works (DSİ) in 1954 and actually started in 2006. The area was flooded for the dam in 2019.
The aim was to preserve the originality of the monumental artifacts and ruins, which constitute the architectural heritage of Hasankeyf, and to protect them from being directly or partially affected by the dam. They needed to be preserved in a way that contributes to their architectural, aesthetic values as well as their historical, cultural values, surrounding locations, texture contexts and existing social and cultural values. Relocation was the main method of conservation and recovery. Within this framework, the Arkeopark area was established. It was designed in analogy of the Hasankeyf Lower Town near the Hasankeyf Museum (Hasankeyf Müzesi) campus on the Peninsula, which was formed after fludding the dam. As such, the Er-Rızk Mosque (Er-Rızk Cami), the Artuklu Hamam, the Suleyman Mosque (Süleyman Cami), the Koç Mosque (Koç Cami), Kızlar Mosque (Kızlar Cami), and the Zeynel Bey Tomb (Zeynel Bey Kümbeti), and the Middle Gate (Orta Kağı) and the Imam Abdullah Zawiya (Imam Abdullah Zaviyesi) were moved holistically, through architectural protection methods by dividing in blocks and unit elements, in applying advanced engineering techniques. Some of the structures were rebuilt using traditional construction techniques. Thus, their architectural integrity was restored. The part of the Yamaç Complex (Yamaç Külliyesi), which is partially affected by the water, is exhibited under water, while other parts have been restored and exhibited in their original place.
Zeynel Bey Tomb
The tomb was built for Aq Qoyunlu ruler Uzun Hasan's son Zeynel Bey during the period of the Aq Qoyunlu principality (1462-1487). The inscription above the north gate of the The Zeynel Bey Tomb (Zeynel Bey Kümbeti) states that it was built during the reign of Aq Qoyunlu ruler Sultan Hasan (Uzun Hasan) Bahadur Khan, for his son Zeynel Bey. However, no date was given on the inscription. What is known is, that Zeynel Bey was martyred during the Otlukbeli war in 1473 between the Ottoman and the Aq Qoyunlu. Therefore, it is assumed to be built during the last quarter of the 15th century. The tiles on the interior part of the recessed arch show the name of the tile-decoration master Pir Hüseyin.
The words "Allah-Muhammad-Ali", written on the 3 rows of tiles around the exterior main structure, add an extra aesthetic to the architectural structure of the tomb. This cylindrical structure is the only example of the classical architectural style that prevailed from Central Asia to Azerbaijan since the 14th century. It is mostly attractive due to its tiled decorations and inscriptions.
At the banks of the Tigris, an Artuqid Bath (Artuklu Hamamı) in classical design was uncovered from the ruins of the so-called "Ottoman Bath" (Osmanlı Hamamı) or "Ottoman Masjid". It has been discovered that the building from mid-12th century, during the Artuqid dynasty, collapsed during floods of the Tigris River, and was rebuilt during the Ottoman period. The undressing room is still standing. The cold room, the warm room, and the hot room have remained only partially. It is the only remaining hamam on land in Hasankeyf.
İmam Abdullah Zawiya
The Zawiya is a building-complex around the tomb of Imam Abdullah, who is regarded as a descendent of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), and thus much respected by the local people. The Zawiyah was built in the 12th century, during the time of the Artuqids. It is thought that it was rebuilt during the time of the Ayyubid Sultan Taqi al-Din Abdullah (1249-1294) after it collapsed. The inscription above the entrance indicates that it was renovated during the Aq Qoyun period in 878 (1478).
The Middle Gate
There is a one line Naskh calligraphy inscription on the Middle Gate (Orta Kapı), which is one of the 4 gates to the Citadel. According to that inscription the gate was built in Hijri 820 (1416) by the Ayyubid Sultan Suleyman. The Middle Gate is ornamented with embossed talismans, palmets and dragons, which reflects the Ayyubid stonework and ornamental art.
This complex-building was built by Melikü’l Adil Şehabeddin Gazi between 1351-1354. It consists of a courtyard surrounded by porticoes and student rooms on three sides, classrooms, teachers' rooms and praying sections (Masjids) in the south. A small-scale closed courtyard was added to the west of the mosque opening a passage to the adjacent derelict Artuqid madrasa. One of the large rooms located on either side of the eyvan to the south of the courtyard contains the tombs of Şehabeddin Gazi and his three sons who died in the plague; and the tomb of Sultan Süleyman (Sultan Süleyman Türbesi). Sultan Suleiman renovated the eastern façade of the madrasa between 1406 and 1416, and added a minaret, crown gate and a fountain made of cut stone, which give the madrasa a monumental appearance.
According to the inscriptions on the minaret's pedestal, it was built in 1407 by Ayyubid Sultan Süleyman. At the eastern end of the complex there is a mosque, a madrasa, imarets (public soup-kitchen) and tombs, including the one, which is thought to be the tomb of Sultan Suleiman, who died in 1432. Albert Gabriel described the structure as a mosque and dervish lodge.
As there is no inscription, it is not known when and by whom it was built. Most probably it is a work from the 12th century Great Seljuk Empire. Besides its architecture, the plaster decorations at its altar and at the entrance door to the altar are rare examples that survived until our days.
It is not known when and by whom the Kızlar (Eyyubi) Mosque (Kızlar Cami) was built. There are domed structures in the four corners of the central courtyard. It is one of the rare mausoleum complexes in Anatolia.
According to the inscription at the gate to the courtyard, it was built by Ebu’l Mefâhir Süleyman, a king of Hasankeyf, in 1409. A part of the southern worship area was destroyed due to a landslide. Thus, new areas were added to the northern wall of the Harim and turned into a mosque. This section and the façade of the courtyard entrance, the crown gate and the minaret have reached our days.
The mosques seen in Artuqid architecture have rich stonework with a porticoed inner courtyard. Its minaret has a double helix façade. The workmanship on the crown door and harim wall is similar to both, Anatolian and northern Syrian construction traditions.
A building complex with a mosque in its center was unearthed during excavations at the eastern hill side of the lower town, which contains cave houses towards the north. The complex was named “Yamaç Complex (Yamaç Külliyesi)” Most of the complex consists of a mosque, a madrasa, a zawia and a public bath for single men (bekar hamamı). Some of the ruins of the complex have been preserved under the dam lake, while the harim and the hamam sections were restored and preserved at their original place.
The castle was built on a hill in the Bölükkonak (Hergemo) Village, 6 km northwest of the Kozluk district, along the ancient route to Sason. It was built by the Byzantines in the 4th century, in order to control the castles in the east and to prevent foreign forces from entering the Erzen region.
From the beginning till the end of the 4th century, the Persians and Byzantines fought for dominance over the Erzen region. During this period, the Byzantines established numerous defensive strongholds within the Sason, Kozluk and Bitlis triangle in order to eliminate counterattacks. The Rabat Castle in the Yanıkkaya (Rabat) village, 18 km north of Kozluk district, is one of them.
With an exterior designed in the form of a book, the four-level Batman Library features a usage area of approximately 8,300 square meters. Standing out as the region’s largest library, the Batman facility has a capacity to accommodate 1,200 library users. The Library offers a multilingual, up-to-date and wide-ranging collection that appeals to all types of readers of every age, making it a favourite destination for students, local residents and visitors.
The Batman Library hosts language workshops for the study of foreign languages, and science workshops for discovering and supporting talented students who can contribute to the development of the country. In addition, there are table tennis facilities, a sandbox and a dart board, as well as a garden with an area for growing fruits and vegetables.
The Library also includes reading and research halls, and specific areas for visually and hearing-impaired and children. The child-friendly library has significantly contributed to recognition of Türkiye abroad: the Batman Library was deemed one of the thirty-two libraries worldwide “deserving of recognition” in a survey conducted by the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA).
Batman Library serves from 08.00 to 22.00 every day of the week and welcomes up to 300,000 book lovers each year.