sights / Historic

Gölbaşı information

Şanlıurfa , Turkey
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Legend claims that Abraham (İbrahim), the Islamic prophet, was in old Urfa destroying pagan gods when Nimrod, the local Assyrian king, took offence. Nimrod had Abraham immolated on a funeral pyre, but God turned the fire into water and the burning coals into fish. Abraham was hurled into the air from where the fortress stands, landing safely in a bed of roses. Urfa's picturesque Gölbaşı area of fish-filled pools and rose gardens is a symbolic re-creation of this story.

Two rectangular pools of water (Balıklı Göl and Ayn-i Zeliha) are filled with supposedly sacred carp, while the area west of the Hasan Padişah Camii is a gorgeous rose garden . Local legend has it that anyone catching the carp will go blind.

On the northern side of Balıklı Göl is the elegant Rızvaniye Vakfı Camii & Medresesi , with a much-photographed arcaded wall, while at the western end is the Halilur Rahman Camii . This 13th-century building, replacing an earlier Byzantine church, marks the site where Abraham fell to the ground. The two pools are fed by a spring at the base of Damlacık hill, on which the castle is built.