Mardin, overlooking the Mesopotamian Plain, has preserved the old- style carving in its houses. Dating from 1385, the Sultan Isa Medrese is an interesting, beautiful Turkish monument with its magnificent carved portal. The Kasim Pasa Medrese is also significant for its dome of beautiful stonework and the Ulu Mosque with its well-decorated minaret is another sightseeing spot. On a hill, 7 kms east of Mardin , you will see something you do not expect: Deyrulzaferan, a Syriac-Jacobite monastery. Several kilometers further, there is another Monastery, Deyrelmur dating from the 5th century.
If you would like to see the best examples of Artutid architecture then you have to head for Kiziltepe, 21 kms south of Mardin : 13th century Ulu Mosque with its fine mihrap relief and beautifully decorated portal. At Hasankeyf which is on the borderline with Batman province, you will see the ruins of the ancient 12th century capital of the Artutids. The bridge which once connected the two parts of the city over the Tigris and the palace is another example of this period.
The 15th century Zeynel Bey Mausoleum nearby is attractively decorated with blue tiles.
A ruined Roman citadel, rebuilt in medieval times, crowns the summit of the highland as evidence of Mardin 's earlier existence as the Marida (Marde, Maride, Merida) of antiquity. Marida was taken by the Seljuk Turks in the late 11th century and was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire by Sultan Selim I in 1516. The Ulu Cami (Great Mosque), dating from the Seljuk period and the Sultan Isa Medresesi, a religious school built in the 14th century, are still standing.
Mardin is an important regional trading center on the east-west trade routes of southern Anatolia. It is connected by a branch line with the Istanbul -Baghdad railway and is linked by road with Gaziantep (west), Aleppo (in Syria), Nusaybin (southeast), and Diyarbakir (northeast).