Dara is an ancient Byzantine city located about 30km southeast of Mardin, not far from the border to Syria. The city was founded by the Byzantines in the 6th century AD, as a military outpost close to the border to the Persian empire. It was captured by the Persians and taken back by the Romans a couple of times before being captured by Arab Muslims in 639 AD. Nowadays the ruins of Dara are next to the Kurdish village of Oğuz.
The highlights are the extensive necropolis with countless tombs cut into the rock and the large Byzantine cistern complex, an impressive underground chamber with 30m high pillars which in ancient times was located under a Christian church.
How to get to Dara
Dara is a short 40 minutes drive from the city of Mardin.
Visitors stay in Mardin where there are several hotels, most of them bookable via the international booking portals.
01 Necropolis 02 Ruins of rock-cut buildings
03 Necropolis 04 Necropolis
05 Necropolis 06 Ruins of rock-cut building 07 Ruins of rock-cut buildings
08 Ruins of rock-cut buildings 09 Ruins of rock-cut building 10 Rock cut burial chamber tombs 11 Sarcophagi
12 Rock-cut chamber 13 Rock-cut chamber 14 Sarcophagi 15 Sarcophagi 16 Sarcophagi and ruins
17 Necropolis 18 Vault of cistern 19 Cistern 20 Cistern 21 Cistern pillars
22 Cistern pillars 23 Cistern pillars 24 Cistern pillars 25 Water cistern 26 Water cistern
27 Cistern 28 Water cistern 29 Cistern 30 Cistern pillars 31 Cistern 32 Cistern
33 Staircase 34 Vault of cistern 35 Corridor to cistern
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