Harput: A picturesque open-air museum harboring a variety of monuments located in one of Turkey's notable cities with the richest cultural heritage
An ancient settlement with a history dating back to 2000 BC, Harput lies in the province of Elazığ. The monuments of the area bear the traces of the continental climate that prevails in the area.
Perhaps now it’s your turn to explore one of the most striking towns of eastern Anatolian history!
Representative of the cultural legacy of eastern Anatolia, Harput welcomes guests all the year round for its rich variety of valuable artifacts and the historical façade of the province.
The ancient settlements of Harput qualify as open air museums harboring numerable monuments of historical significance. Each of them more valuable than the other, these monuments deserve a round tour.
Harput Castle, also known as Süt (Milk) Castle, was built during the Urartu era. It is said that milk was mixed in the mortar during the construction of the castle and that the name of castle was derived from this hearsay. The castle is comprised of an interior and exterior section and has a rectangular shape. Offering a panoramic view of the city, Harput Castle is located at an incredible location where you can take a look at unforgettable scenery.
Harput is also abundant in religious sites you should visit after you have seen the castle. The Church of Virgin Mary which was built in 179 A.D., the Ulu Mosque (Grand Mosque) which is one of the oldest mosques in Anatolia, the Kurşunlu, Alacali and Ağa mosques of the Ottoman era are among the religious sites waiting for you.
Buzluk Cave, located in close proximity to Keban Dam, is one of the most significant natural sites of the area. Formed by nature’s hand, you can chill off among the ice stalagmites and stalactites while visiting the cave in the summer months and enjoy the warmth of the cave in the winter months. Claimed to have a healing effect on some ailments, Buzluk Cave has existed even prior to the settlement of Harput.
The Harput Museum, exhibiting the inscriptions and ethnographic artifacts of the city and the findings located at Içme Mound, is among the major historical attractions worth the visit.
You will be astonished by the variety of delicacies that constitute the local cuisine of Harput. You should make some time and try some of these delicacies with unique names such as Işgene, Harput Köfte (Harput style meatballs), taş ekmeğı (bread backed in local style),pestilli yumurta (fried eggs with dried fruit pulp) and kalbur dolma (a local type of sweet). Orcik and pestil (sun-dried fruit pulp) and Çedene coffee are some other local flavors you should try.
An impressive town harmonizing ancient times with the present day, Harran is waiting to welcome you!
How can I get there?
Located on the eastern side of Turkey, Harput district is situated in Elaziğ province which has convenient transportation facilities.
The Elaziğ Airport in service of domestic flights from Istanbul and Ankara is the most comfortable means of transport. The shuttle services and cabs waiting outside of the exit gates of the airport will take you to Harput in short time.
Tourists who prefer the highway can take any of the intercity buses leaving from any city in Turkey to Elazığ province. There are public transport vehicles and taxis leaving from the Elazığ bus terminal to Harput.
Elazığ, which has also railway connection, is a terrific destination that welcomes visitors any season of the year.