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DARA ANCIENT CITY
Darius I, byname Darius the Great, (born 550 BC—died 486), king of Persia in 522–486 BC, one of the greatest rulers of the Achaemenid dynasty, who was noted for his administrative genius and for his great building projects. Darius attempted several times to conquer Greece; his fleet was destroyed by a storm in 492, and the Athenians defeated his army at Marathon in 490. Darius was the son of Hystaspes, the satrap (provincial governor) of Parthia. The principal contemporary sources for his history are his own inscriptions, especially the great trilingual inscription on the Bīsitūn (Behistun) rock at the village .
Dara is located 30 km Southeast of Mardin, which is one of the most glorious settlements in the region. The establishment date of the city is not known whose ancient name is Anastasiapolis. Dara has been one of the most important trade centres of Mesopotamia for centuries. The city witnessed wars of the Persian Emperor Darius and Alexander the Great.
When Persians conquered Nusaybin in 363, this place became the border of the Roman Empire. The city was strengthened by Emperor Anastasius in 5th century as a border outpost, and was taken into control by Persians once again 100 years later. The city was taken by the Umayyad at the end of 7th century, then it was taken by the Ottoman Empire in 15th century.
Dara city that is composed of structures carved on rocks, is spread on a vast area in its periphery. Graves in the eastern part of Dara extend down to Kuruçay. The city is protected by 4 km of city walls, which have two gates opening towards south and north. İçkale is located on north of the city, on the upper prairie of the hill at 50 metres height.
The city still can be seen with its remnants of churches, palaces, markets, dungeons, armouries, cisterns and water jumps. A glorious water jump was built by carving the rocks going down towards south, starting from north of the village. Even today you can find water in this water jump. Furthermore, cave houses are also available around the village, whose histories date back to the Late Roman period.