It is 5 km to the east of central Mardin, on slopes overlooking Mesopotamian plains. It is a distinguished structure, one of the few examples of still standing buildings reflecting the historical and religious features of the Suryani. As such it has served for 639 years as the "Patriarchate of All the Suryani People of the World."It is known that the oldest part of the monastery date back to BC.
The building as a whole is believed to be as old as the city of Mardin itself. The most striking feature of the building is its geometrical roof made up of 13 stone rows each having a length of 20 meters and a width of 0.5 meters. These stone rows are knitted to each other without any mortar. Another striking feature is the existence of two arches each having an altar. The monastery covers 52.5 m2.
The monastery is the oldest known temple of Şemsilik as a paganist belief. It reached its present grandeur with architectural additions made later on in line with the rise of Christianity (493 AD).
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