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SALAH (BARİŞTEPE)

baris1Old name: Salah (Suryani)

Newly restored, the Church of Mor Yakub (St. Jacob) at Salah in the Tur Abdin near Midyat may have been built in the sixth century, although its archaic appearance may just be a result of its having been built so far off the beaten track in the eighth century.

Whatever its date, it was constructed on the site of the martyrdom of Mor Hadbashabo, possibly over the remains of a Zoroastrian temple.

From 1364 to 1839 the church became the seat of the bishop of the Tur Abdin following a schism with Deyrulzafaran, hence its current unexpected grandeur.

The church has an imposing entrance surrounded by fine carvings of vine leaves and doves, and the nave’s soaring herringbone-patterned vault is very impressive. Hanging on the wall are some of the fine, if somewhat crude, hand-painted clothes that have been made for generations in Mardin by the now deceased Nasra Şimes Hindi and her family.

Behind the church stand the remains of stables, while across the courtyard can be seen the graves of Mor Yakub and other early church leaders. The newly-built stone tower was intended as a guesthouse but now serves as a storage place after permission to use it was declined. 

The church entrance opens through the narthex onto a lovely courtyard ringed by a three-storeyed buidling with verandahs all the way round it. 

Transport infobaris2

There are no buses to Bariştepe. You will need to pick up a taxi in Midyat.

 

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