Diyarbakır City Walls and Hevsel Gardens
Described as garden of Eden, Hevsel was formed at southeast of the city, on fertile lands that are carried by Tigris. Hevsel Gardens involving various fruit trees and vegetable gardens, alongside the city walls, have met the need of vegetable and fruit of the city for thousands of years.
This fertile garden that is along Tigris River, hosts migrant birds as well. The birds get rest, stop over and shelter in Hevsel. 108 bird species live in Hevsel Gardens. Carduelis Obsoleta and Menetries Warbler traveling in herds are the region-specific birds in Hevsel Gardens. As well as hosting predator birds Garden of Eden also hosts the visitors with its picnic area.
This unique beauty was registered in UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List in 2015.
As one of the oldest and the most durable city walls of the world, Diyarbakır City Walls are the longest ones following Great Wall of China. The city walls have 5,5 km of length and 8 meters of height. They are divided as internal and external ones, and made of cutting basalt stone. It is not unknown when these city walls were built and by whom. Diyarbakır City Walls almost whole of which still exist, surrounded ancient Diyarbakır which is called as Diyarbakır today.
Appearance of Diyarbakır Castle from overview looks like a turbot. Written bands patterned with carving and embossments surround the upper part of city walls. Diyarbakır Castle has 82 watch-towers as square, polygon and circle shapes. The most important of them are Keçi Tower (Goat Tower), Yedi Kardeş Tower (Seven Siblings Tower), Evli Beden Tower, Dağkapı Tower and Nur Tower. The castle has four gates opening towards four directions. Dağkapı (Harput Kapı) on North, Urfakapı (Rumkapı) on West, Mardinkapı (Tel Kapı) on South and Yenikapı (Tigris or Water Gate).
Animal and plant embossments, double-headed eagle, sphinx, crucifix, fight of bull and lion, and inscriptions surrounding them were placed on these gates and towers as embossments. Therefore, Diyarbakır is called as castle town where history of Diyarbakır is written on stones...
These unique beauties; City Walls at 5700 meters of length and 12 meters of height resembles an open air musem with inscriptions, tablets and embossment figures that are the symbols of Diyarbakır, Hevsel Gardens protecting its genuine structure surrounding 700 hectares of area and 12 meters of height, was registered as “14th World Cultural Heritage of Turkey” on 14th of July, 2015 in Bonn city of Germany in World Heritage Committee Meeting of UNESCO.
These city walls have impressive legends.
According to a myth, the ruler of the region commands to build two towers to West of the city walls. The person who was appointed with this task, undertakes the construction of Yedi Kardeş Tower (Seven Siblings Tower) and charges his apprentice with Evli Beden Tower. After the completion of the construction of towers, the ruler decides that Evli Beden Tower is better than the other. The foreman could not accept this situation and jumps from Yedi Kardeş Tower. His apprentice saw it and he also jumps from the city walls. Upon this incident, this region including Evli Beden and Yedi Kardeş Towers is called as “Ben-u Sen” meaning as “Me and You”.
There is another myth about "Yedi Kardeşler Tower"
Once upon a time enemies besiege Diyarbakır. The castle surrenders after bloody collisions taking part for days. However, the tower defended by seven siblings -current Yedi Kardeşler Tower- does not surrender. Enemy attacks with full force but cannot get a result. They send an envoy for reconciliation. Seven siblings reply the envoy: We would surrender with one condition. You will spare our lives. We can resign this place only to your king and commanders. Let them enter into the tower and get the castle, then let them spare our lives.
The king accepts this condition. He enters into the tower with his commanders. Once they enter into the tower, a massive explosion occurs. Seven siblings have fired the gunpowder vault. The castle explodes. King, commanders and seven siblings die. The army of enemy is dispersed. After this incident the tower is called as Yedi Kardeşler Tower (Seven Siblings Tower).