Abraham's Cave

Mevlid-i Halilulrahman Mağarası

Useful Information

Location: Urfa, Sanliurfa province
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave SubterraneaCave Church
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:  
Address: Mevlid-i Halilulrahman Mağarası, Göl, Balıklı Göl Cd. No:51, 63210 Şanlıurfa Merkez/Eyyübiye/Şanlıurfa.
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Abraham's Cave, the cave of Abraham is often said to be the birthplace of the prophet. It is located to the south of the city. Urfa is located in southeast Turkey, at the border to Iraq. The Turkish Muslim tradition postulates that this city in the fertile plains of upper Mesopotamía is the ancient city Ur, where the patriarch Abraham was born and received God's call to go to Canaan. Of course, Irak claims that Ur is located in southern Iraq, but archaeologists have no real evidence for both locations.

The center of the Abraham cult at Urfa, which is also called Sanliurfa (Urfa the Glorious) or the City of Prophets, is located at a huge rectangular pont full of carps. Picnickers, pilgrims and vendors populate the huge park today.

According to legend, this is the place were Abraham started to smash idols, a plaque reads: "Abraham, peace be upon him, taught people that the stars were only stars; the moon only the moon; the sun only the sun; and that king Nemrud was only a human being." King Nemrud (Nimrod) was a little angry about Abraham, and hurled him into a furnace. But a famous miracle happened, the fire turned into water, and the burning logs into sacred carps.

Abraham's Cave is a gaping mouth flanked by two columns. The cave has two entrances, one for each gender. Visitors, especially women, are required to wear appropriate clothes, so headscarves are handed out at the entrance. The cave itself is a sort of cave church, hot because of the lack of ventilation and the big number of visitors.