Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens

Discover Diyarbakir and see the city walls

Diyarbakir's Cultural Landscape

Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape is located on an escarpment in the Upper Tigris River Basin. UNESCO added this magnificent structure, which consists of 5000-year-old walls, to the World Heritage List in 2015.

City Walls and Towers

Diyarbakir Fortress is one of the most beautiful treasures of human history, and a certainly must-visit for many. Its imposing, solid walls with the legends, reliefs and the forms that adorn them offer 63 inscriptions from different historical periods. Famous art historians say that the city walls of Diyarbakir are in themselves a museum of inscriptions. It is not known when the citadel was first built, but in 349 AD. The Roman Emperor Constantine expanded and partially reparied it. Almost all the major towers covered with Turkish Islamic inscriptions. The citadel has 4 gates facing the four cardinal points. As the city developed, new gates were opened. The walls are 5 km long and 12 m high, with a width of 3 m and have numerous towers.

The fortifying walls of Diyarbakir are among the longest, widest and strongest in the world. The citadel is located at the eastern end of the basalt plateau that stretches from Karacadag to the Tigris, standing at an altitude of 100 m above sea level. The walls, which are shaped like a shield, are divided into two sections: the Outer Fortress and Inner Fortress.

Outer Fortress

The Outer Fortress measures 5 km long, spanning 1700 m from east to west and 1300 m from north to south. The walls measure 10-12 m high, and are 3-5 m thick, with a wide pathway connecting the towers. Of the 82 towers, the most famous are the Ulu Beden, Yedi Kardesler and Keci. The towers were used as dormitories, cellars, cisterns and warehouses. The Outer Fortress has 4 gates; the Harput Gate, Urfa Gate, Mardin Gate, and Tigris Gate.

Inner Fortress

The original walls of the Inner Fortress, which includes the Artuqid Arch, were later demolished. Between 1524 and 1526, new, wider city walls were built during the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent. The Inner Fortress has 19 towers and 4 gates; the Fetih and Ogrun gates lead out of the city, while the Saray and Kupeli gates lead to the area within the walls of the Outer Fortress.

Highlights of the Inner Fortress: There are two churches, the ruins of an Artuqid Palace, the Viran Tower, a cistern and a mosque in the Inner Fortress.

Hevsel Gardens

The gardens, which are the symbol of Diyarbakir, were formed by alluvium carried by the Tigris River in the southeast of the city. A variety of fruit trees, summer and winter vegetables are grown here. Covering an area of over 700 hectares, the Hevsel Gardens has been fulfilling the city's fruit and vegetable needs for thousands of years.

In a region including the traces of more than 30 civilizations, it is a culturally and historically unique place, in addition to its 8000-year history and agricultural value.

UNESCO World Heritage

Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens Cultural Landscape was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2015. The vital cooperation of the Diyarbakir Fortress and the Hevsel Gardens is the most important factor in the uninterrupted life of the city for thousands of years.

  • Official Name: Diyarbakir Fortress and Hevsel Gardens
  • Date of Inscription: 2015
  • Category: Cultural
  • Reference: 1488
  • Location: Diyarbakir, Turkey
Diyarbakir's Cultural Landscape
Yedi Kardesler Tower, Sur, Diyarbakir