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BAĞLARBAŞI

Other names: Arnas, Urdnus

Once a Tur Abdin Suryani village focused on the large church of Mor Kyriakos, Bağlarbaşı is now an entirely Muslim village, its only Suryani population a handful of people who return for a few months in the summer. 

Externally, the church is one of the most austere in the Tur Abdin, sitting to one side of a large courtyard to which some modern rooms have been added recently. Internally, it is one of the few that has not been restored (although the outside has been) which means that is in some ways more atmospheric than most. It is also a mash-up of two separate churches, one much smaller and older than the other. As at nearby Altıntaş, the narthex runs east-west along the side of the main aisle rather than north-south which is the more familiar arrangement. 

At the back of the apse a huge carved cross still survives along with some original capitals. A Suryani inscription adorns the barrel vaulting. 

Colourful modern altar arrangements now partially obscure the huge cross in the apse. Apparently there would originally have been a stone altar more like those in a Catholic church. 

Transport info

There are no buses to Bağlarbaşı and Midyat taxi drivers may need some help in finding it in an area with few signosts or village nameplates. On the way from Altıntaş to Bağlarbaşi you might want to stop briefly in Narlı (Achlah) to look at the arched ruins of a lost church or monastery. 

 

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