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Turkey tours offer travelers the chance to see some of the most historic cities in the world. Destinations such as Istanbul and Midyat have a rich past that is evident around every corner, but one of the best places for historical intrigue is Mardin. Located in the southeastern portion of the country, the city has some of the most unique architecture you'll run into, and its placement above the Tigris River offers some spectacular views as well.
The first thing you'll notice upon arrival in Mardin is that many of the older buildings are made with sandstone - certainly not something you see on a regular basis. Not only that, but even the more contemporary buildings exude a beige hue thanks to the large quantities of limestone rock that are harvested outside the city. Though many of the structures in Mardin stand out, there are few that can't be missed.
One of the most iconic buildings in Mardin is the Saffron Monastery, which dates as far back as 495 A.D. The enormous church, which contains 365 rooms, was in use well into the 20th century, but its size and longevity is only part of the appeal. The Saffron Monastery has also become famous for its striking floor mosaics, some of which are an estimated 1,500 years old.
While the Saffron Monastery is certainly a highlight, there are a number of other centuries-old buildings that are worth a visit. The Great Mosque of Mardin, which was built in the 12th century, is also one of the most recognizable aspects of the city, with its ribbed dome and minaret standing out amid the city's backdrop.
Look down in wonder at Buckingham Palace, the Palace of Westminster and St Paul’s Cathedral from your glass-walled pod on the London Eye, then gaze out over the Louvre and the Champs-Elysees from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The scent of rich pine forests lingers in the breeze as the 13th-century ruins of Turaida Castle are revealed before your eyes in the lush Gauja River valley in a medieval sanctuary untouched by the march of time.
The aroma of dark roasted Viennese coffee hangs thick in the air as you tread the cobblestone laneways and bask in the elegant architecture, atmospheric cafes and refined restaurants in one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.
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