Telefon : (+90) 342 361 01 86

Dülük Park

The first stop on our tour is Dülük Park, stretching from one of the world’s earliest ancient settlements, Doliche, to the beautiful Hızır Plateau which is surrounded by the Amanos Mountains. As you walk through the park, you will see all around you the remains and artefacts from past civilizations, including the latest findings from Gaziantep’s Yesemek Open Air Museum and Sculpture Workshop which is on the World Cultural Heritage list. 

Dülük Park lies 8 km from the city centre. Dülük (Doliche), inhabited from the Palaeolithic Age until today, was a religious centre in ancient times; now it is a place of both historical value and great natural beauty.

Dülük Park, which covers an area of 40 square kilometres to the northwest of Gaziantep, is one of Turkey’s largest wood areas and is home to a bio-lake, the Dülük monks’ burial ground, a temple and water cistern, the tomb of Dülükbaba, the Jupiter Dolichenus Sanctuary, picnic areas and adventure areas. In short, Dülük Park is a popular place for the people of Gaziantep to enjoy a barbecue on sunny days, appealing to both nature lovers and to those with an interest in history and archaeology.

Roughly 500 m from the entrance to Dülük Park lies the bio-lake, adding extra charm to the natural beauty of the oxygen-rich area which is covered in black pine and cedar trees. The arboretum surrounding the bio-lake offers a place to relax amongst the mass of colourful plants, far away from the stresses of the city.

The 5,200 m2 lake is Turkey’s largest bio-lake. The arboretum surrounding the lake has 255 different species of flora, with a total of 11,335 individual plants. The cleaning of the lake water is done not with chemical products but by using biological methods, a system which was used in the construction of the lake.

The wooden terrace of the lake-side cafe, built on 5 levels, offers a place to relax and enjoy the view of the lake, or to have a picnic. The cafe serves traditional Gaziantep food as well as other tempting dishes from Turkish and world cuisine. 

The sports activity section of the park lies 1 km to the right of the aerated lake. This section contains a Scouting and Nature Sports Camp with ropes course, climbing wall, pentathlon track and zipline. 

From behind the climbing wall, follow the brown signs saying rock tombs in a north-easterly direction for 2 km and you will come to the Dülük monks’ burial ground. To get to the necropolis, follow the rough path that leads to the upper part of the park. After 8 minutes’ drive from the Rope Trail you will come to the burial ground which has wire fencing around its entire 5,000 m2 area. The paths have been laid with keystones making it easy to walk amongst the tombs. Excavation of the necropolis has revealed 18 rock tombs, with huge circular stones being used as doors. These huge stones now lie either in the doorways or upside down on the ground. The most salient of the rock tombs are No. 8, which houses a carved sarcophagus with a festoon motif on the front, and No. 17, with its pillar and relief depicting a monk at the entrance.

Approximately 1 km to the right of the monks’ burial ground lies the rock temple area and water cistern. The area can be reached by vehicle along a narrow, rough road lined with trees. For safety reasons, the water cistern, which can fill with rain water, sits behind iron railings. The temple, thought to date from the Late Roman period, lies immediately next to the water cistern. It is presumed that the niches located in the large area in front of the rock temple were used to illuminate the area for meetings, held prior to religious ceremonies, and that the  alcoves that can be seen within the temple were used to hold offerings to the gods.

Heading east for about 400 m from the temple, you will find the tomb of Dülükbaba, who was thought to be a sahaba (disciple of the prophet Mohammed), killed during the conquest of Gaziantep. With the real name Davud Ejder, this sahaba is buried at the summit of Dülükbaba Hill. By managing and clearing the area surrounding this tomb, it is important that it is recognised as a place of religious interest which is well worth visiting. The path to this area where the tomb is located, also known as Transmitter Hill because of the radio transmitter located on top of the hill, is a demanding one, but it is possible to reach the tomb through all the brambles. The edges of the tomb are indicated by a stone which has been placed on a drainage pipe.About 200 m east of this, you come to the Jupiter Dolichenus sanctuary, located on Dülükbaba Hill. Jupiter Dolichenus was widely worshipped during the time of the Roman Empire and evidence of this starts at Dülükbaba Hill, and continues on through North Africa, the shores of the Rhine, the Danube and on to England. The archaeological remains from the ancient city of Doliche, from where the god took his name, not only show the importance of the city during the period of classical antiquity but also shed light on its history during the Middle Ages. Since 2002, an international research team, led by the Asia Minor Research Centre, have been excavating the sanctuary. The 30,000 m2 area on the top of Dülükbaba Hill has a total of 11 open trenches.

DÜLÜK MONKS’ BURIAL GROUND

Roughly 1 km west of the Jupiter Dolichenus Temple, on Dülükbaba Hill, lies a rocky area where you will find the burial ground for the temple officials. Within the burial ground there are 18 tombs of different sizes and structures.

The tombs are accessed via descending steps. Large, circular stones stand across the doorways, and inside the tombs are sarcophagi decorated with festoon motifs. Some of the recesses within the tombs have been carved in the shape of sarcophagi. Some of the circular stones which were rolled across the entrances to act like a door have survived until the present day.

JUPITER DOLICHENUS SANCTUARY

The sanctuary of the god Jupiter Dolichenus lies on Dülükbaba Hill, 3 km southwest of Dülük town. During the first 300 years AD, the religious cult spread from this dominating hilltop to other important cities of the time. Dülükbaba Hill is one of the rare sites within the Southeast Anatolia region where religious activities have taken place continuously, from 1000 BC to the time when Christianity became active in the period of late antiquity. The site has revealed Hellenistic remains, and, beneath these, remains from an even earlier age, making it possible to gather information about not only the most important god of the Roman Empire, but also about the region’s rich religious history.

The numerous small artefacts dating from the Roman period and earlier found as a result of the excavations give important information on the Jupiter Dolichenus cult. The most important of these are several hundred necklace beads, stamps and cylinder seals dating from the 6th to 5th century BC. Excavations also point to the existence of an important monastery at the summit of the hill from the late antiquity period until the time of the Crusades.

Okunma 2476 defa
ika

The contents of this publication, which has been prepared by the 2013 Economic Development Financial Support Programme of the Silk Road Development Agency does not represent the views of the Silk Road Development Agency and/or the Ministry of Development. Sole responsibility for the content lies with Neva Bilgi Teknolojileri Medya ve Danışmanlık Hizmetleri San. Tic. Ltd. Şti.

kalkinma

Yesemek Tour and Alternative

  • Çolaklar Stone Bridge
    Yazan

    If you want to visit the ancient Roman bridge, head back towards the village of Yelliburun and as you pass the village of Şahmaran on your right, you will come to Çolaklar village. About 20 km from Yesemek Open Air Museum, and 1.5 km southeast of Çolaklar village, in an isolated spot in the middle of nowhere, lies a stone bridge, known as the Çolaklar Roman Stone Bridge. 

    The bridge, built over the Karasu brook, nowadays is only frequented by fishermen, shepherds and their flocks. On either side of the bridge there are the remains of a Roman road, also made from basalt stone. If you want to visit the bridge, the rocky terrain means you must be prepared to walk for about 500 m after you have parked your vehicle.

  • Muhammed Beledi Tomb
    Yazan

    The tomb of Muhammed Beledi can be found on Beledi Hill in the neighbourhood of Sam. In the second half of the 15th century, Muhammed Beledi, hearing about Sheikh Sam, comes to visit him. It is said that following this meeting, a strong bond develops between the two. 

  • Menzil Inn
    Yazan

    The recently restored Menzil Han is composed of two parts. Rough hewn limestone has been used on the exterior of the han.

     

  • Sof Plateau
    Yazan

    Continuing on towards Nurdağı, 5 km after the village of Yeşilce, head left and 7 km after the village of Işıklı you will come to the Sofdağı Plateau.

    The highest peak of the Sofdağ mountains is called Kepekçi Hill, where the air is pure and rich in oxygen. The Sofdağı Mountains are the source of more than 20 freshwater courses, such as Gerdek Spring, Cennet Spring and Börek Spring.

  • Hurşit Ağa Mansion
    Yazan

    One km to the west of Sakçagözü Waterfall lies Hurşit Ağa Mansion which recently suffered damage in a fire rendering it unfit for use. The building was used as military quarters during the War of Independence and as a refuge for the Ottoman soldiers during the First World War.

  • Nurdağı Castle
    Yazan

    After heading west for approximately 4 km on the old Adana road, you will come to Nurdağı Castle in the district of Nurdağı.

    In the castle there are ornamental ponds, model animals, a children’s play area, and a traditional nomad tent decorated with wooden carvings and set up like an authentic wedding hall to demonstrate the local culture.

  • Fevzipaşa Train Station
    Yazan

    Continuing on towards the district of İslahiye in a southwesterly direction, you will see on the right the historical Fevzipaşa Train Station which is used to shelter retired trains. 

    The building was constructed by German engineers as part of the Hicaz (Hejaz) Railroad Project.

  • Çerçil Castle
    Yazan

    If you want to leave the prescribed route and visit one of the region’s alternative cultural treasures, we recommend a climb to Çerçil Castle.

    Heading away from the village of Yelliburun in a westerly direction for 10 km, you will arrive at Çerçil Castle, which is situated 600 m southwest of Çerçil village, and sits at the top of a natural hill. Some of the important findings from the castle are coloured ceramic pieces, showing that the settlement dates from the Middle Ages. The road that stretches from the İslahiye plains to the inner side of the Amanos mountains passes through the footslopes of the hill on which the castle sits. This suggests that the castle, for a period, held a position of strategic importance. If you want to see the castle ruins at the top, you should be prepared for an arduous climb of approximately one hour through dense shrubland.

  • Sheikh Sam Tomb
    Yazan

    In the centre of the neighbourhood of Sam lies the tomb of Abdurrahman Erzincani, known as Sheikh Sam. It is said that Yavuz Sultan Selim stayed near the village of Sam on his way to the Egyptian campaign, and whilst there, met Sheikh Sam.

    Based on a dream he had, Sheikh Sam gave promises of victory in Egypt and sent Yavuz Sultan Selim on his way with blessings. On his return from the campaign, Yavuz awards the tithes received from the village of Sam to the sheikh and has a inn and mosque built in the village.

  • Erikçe Forest
    Yazan

    If you choose the religious section of the tour which includes some of the region’s tombs and historical mosques, then continue on the old Adana road to the district of Sam, 14 km from the city centre