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Silvan is also another settlement that became a capital city just like Diyarbakır. Silvan that was considered as Sophanane in ancient times and that was known to be the city of Tigranokerta that was the capital of Tigran Kingdom, took the name of Martirapolis in Byzantine period that means Saints City; then it was called as Miferket in Assyrian resources; Nphrkert in Armenian resources and Meyyarfarikin in Islamic resources.

Silvan Grand Mosque that is one of the largest mosque of the region bearing the name of Saladin, was built in 1031 by Marwanids and was repaired in Artuqids Period and took its final form. The perfection and elegance of the workmanship of the gates are dazzling the people.

City walls that were built when it was established as the capital city of Large Tigran Kingdom in 77 B.C., bears the attractive traces of Artuqids. The castle that was built as two-layered, is 600 meters from East to West and 500 meters from North to South; and has 2200 meters of length in total. It has 50 towers and 9 gates.  Zembil Froş Tower has a legendary love story among these towers. The legend is as follows:

The sultan had a young and handsome son who was raised with beer and skittles. The young prince frequently went hunting. One day when he went for hunting, he saw a skeleton and a skull that went out from the grave on wayside and he confronted with the reality of death.

At that moment the young prince decided to give up from all possessions of the world and took refuge in God, and swore to follow the God. He left behind splendour of his life and the palace and took to the roads with his wife.

He started to make woven baskets and sell them, and made his living from woven baskets. He got married and had children. Young prince was Zembîlfıroş who made living from selling woven baskets.

Young price arrived to his final destination, Farqin. While touring around Farqin streets to sell the woven baskets, he drew the attention of Xatun (The Lady), wife of Farqin Bey. Xatun fell in love with Zembilfıroş (Woven basket seller). She invited Zembilfıroş to the palace with an excuse of buying woven basket and told him about her love for him with lines of poetry.

However, Zembilfıroş had become a married man who was loyal to his wife, and a dervish who gave up from all possessions of the world. Above all, he repented and eliminated the concept of unlawful life. Thus, he responded the love call of the lady negatively.

Xatun, could not accept it. Xatun had him arrested there, and imprisoned and chained him. But Xatun did not give up from her love. . She told him that she would release him and make him free on condition that he accepts the reign of her. However, Zembilfıroş resisted in accordance with his life principles.

One day, Zembilfıroş tried to escape from the palace when his chains were removed with the excuse of praying. But he couldn’t find anywhere to escape, then jumped from the towers of the palace instead of surrendering when he was asked to surrender. He preferred to die for the sake of his beliefs and ideals…

Silvan is very different not only with its city walls and mosques, but also with its stone mansions and human-shaped gargoyles just like in İshak Pasha Palace.


Hassuni Cave city that is located in 6 km away east from Sivan, is a Medieval rock settlement with its extraordinary attractiveness involving 300 caves, channels enabling water flow in between, cisterns stairs carved in rocks, churches, Turkish bath and weaving shop.