Discover Gaziantep and see Roman ruins
Would you like to travel in time? Go back to the late Roman period by visiting Rumkale and discover the architectural ruins Romans left. You will be surprised when you find out it served a crucial purpose for the spread of Christianity.
Rumkale is located in the south of Kasaba village of Yavuzeli district within the boundaries of Nizip district in Gaziantep.
Rumkale, which is a strong and fortified castle, is settled on a high hill surrounded by steep rocks on the river Euphrates. It has been called with various names throughout the history. In the age of Assyrians it was known as Sitamrat, as Hromklay by the Armenians, as Kal-at el Muslimin in the age of Mamelukes, later it was called as Kale-i Zerrin. Today it is called as Rumkale.
Covering an area of about 3500 m2, Rumkale has an architecture in harmony with nature. It was built with big, cut stones. The ruins reflect the architectural features of the late Roman and Medieval periods.
Perched on a peninsula in the Birecik Dam reservoir, Rumkale is accessible by boat from Halfeti.
Among the architectural works exhibited today; there is a small mosque built in Ottoman period, Saint Nerses Church, Barshavma Monastery, various ruins, water cisterns and a spiral water well. It is narrated that one of the apostles of Jesus Christ reproduced copies of the Bible in a cave house of Rumkale. The flint tools and other ruins obtained along the river of Euphrates have proved that people have lived in Rumkale and its surroundings since the Paleolithic Age.
Gates: Rumkale has two main gates on the East and West. Eastern entrance is built on Euphrates and western entrance is built on Merzimen Creek. The gates and city walls surrounding Rumkale were recently restored.
Saint Nerses Church: The church takes places on the south of the castle and it was built by Poet Saint Nerses towards the end of the 12th century in 1173.
Barshavma Monastery: The monastery is located inside and on the north of the castle. It was built by Yakubi Saint Barshavma in the 13th century AD. Today, some parts of the monastery have survived.
Turkish explorer and writer Evliya Celebi, who visited Rumkale in the 17th century, wrote that the castle was a strong one on a hill and there was a mosque, an inn, a Turkish bath and a small bazaar outside the castle, and talked about the abundance of orchards.