Elazig Archeology and Ethnography Museum is a museum that exhibits the richness of the region and the finds obtained from scientific excavations in the Euphrates basin and Keban Dam Lake Area. It is located in the Fırat University Faculty of Engineering Campus.
It consists of two halls, namely the Archeological Artifacts and Coin Hall, the Carpet Rug and the Ethnography Hall, and the warehouse sections where various artifacts are kept. Numerous and diverse artifacts from the Aleolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Bronze (Protto Hurri-Hittite), Iron, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods are on display.
The 2,700-year-old stone relief Harput Relief, which is unique in Anatolia and weighs 4 tons, is among the important works of the museum. In the Carpet-Kilim and Ethnographic Artifacts Hall, original hand-made carpets and kilims belonging to the region and ethnographic works promoting the local culture are exhibited.
Although it does not have a very rich exhibition, you can go to get information about local archeology and culture. The museum is closed on Mondays and open to visitors between 08.00-17.00 on other days, admission is free.
Harput is the area where you will spend the most time, built around the Harput Castle, which is surrounded by deep cliffs, which forms the core of the historical center of the city. It is located 6 km from the center of Elazig, at the top of the slope on which the city was built. There are many historical buildings in the city, which is located on the trade route from Basra and Baghdad to Diyarbakır and continuing in the direction of Malatya and Sivas.
Historical records state that there are 90 baths, 2670 houses, 843 shops, 10 mosques, 10 madrasas, 8 libraries, 8 churches and 12 inns in Harput. Harput was an important education center of the region in the past. It is known that the number of American, French and German colleges in the city was 7 in the mid-1800s.
A feverish work is being carried out by the Municipality of Elazig and the Elazig Culture and Promotion Foundation for it to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Efforts are being made to restore historical heritage and bring it to tourism. There are many historical buildings to see in Harput, which is like an open-air museum. Easy to navigate, almost all within walking distance.
Harput Castle is the symbol castle of Elazig, which dates back to the Urartian period and has been sheltered and suitable for defense in every period with its location on steep rocks. The castle is also known as the ‘Milk Castle’ among the people. It is rumored that during the construction of the castle, due to the drought, daily milk and eggs were used instead of water in the preparation of the mortar.
The Syriac Ancient Virgin Mary Church , one of the oldest churches in Anatolia , is located at the foot of the rock on which the castle rises. I wanted to visit, but I was informed that outsiders are not accepted. When you continue down the road from the castle, you reach Dabakhane , a famous hospital. Those who enter and leave the cold water in the three-eyed basin without a break would find a cure for their problems.
Harput Ulu Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Anatolia. Its brick minaret is curved like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, with an inclination of 7.2 degrees. The very thick walls, arches and dome of the 865-year-old mosque are worth seeing. Mansur Baba Tomb , close to Ulucami , is located on the left of the road to Harput Castle. Inside are four coffins known to belong to Mansur Baba and his family. Wherever you touch in Elazig, there is definitely a story about it.
Şefik Gül Culture House is a 175-year-old historical mansion located near the Great Mosque. Be sure to visit the authentic building to see the traditional house architecture of Harput. It was the most beautiful and most genuine local house I’ve ever seen. Harput Reading House , which was opened as a place where Harput culture and the tradition of the pulpit can be kept alive, is among the places to visit.
The Sara Hatun Mosque , which was built by Sara Hatun, the mother of Akkoyunlu Sultan Uzun Hasan , is one of the places you should see in Harput and is still open for worship today. Opposite the mosque is the Handicraft-Eye Nuru Bazaar , where souvenirs are sold . Located next to the mosque, the Cimşit Bey Hamam now hosts the Ensar Restaurant, one of the city’s most sought-after restaurants.
Balak Gazi Facilities is the most scenic point of Harput with a bird’s eye view of the Elazig Plain. The sword-wielding person on the gigantic horse statue erected in the courtyard of the Great Mosque in 1965 belongs to Belek Gazi, Emir of Harput. The Alacalı Mosque , located in the Balak Gazi park, is an Artuqid artifact more than 800 years old. The bi-colored stone architecture of the mosque, whose walls are made of cut stone, is interesting.
Buzluk Cave, Harput
Elazig Buzluk Cave is one of the important touristic stops of Harput. It is a 150-220 meters long cave where ice is formed naturally only in summer. There are very few caves of this type in the world. The winters are hot, and the summers are cold to the brim.
In the past, the local people used to bring the ice they took out of this cave in the summer to Harput on animal back and sell it. When you look north from the ice cliffs, you see a wonderful view in front of you. The deep blue beauty of Keban Dam Lake integrates with the greenery of Pertek District and presents an exquisite view.
Lake Hazar and Hazar Valley
Hazar Lake is a tectonic lake located on the Diyarbakir road, 26 km from the center of Elazig. It is more often referred to as Sivrice Lake because of the lakeside town of Sivrice. The entire lake and its surroundings are Natural Protected Areas. Its length is 22 km, and its width is 4 km. Its water is clear, unsalted and with soda. The view is beautiful.
From time to time, we used to go to the sea here in the past, sorry for the lake. There are recreational facilities, large and small fish restaurants and small coves around the lake. Located in the lake, Church Island, Sunken City and Adatepe are registered as Archaeological Sites.
The history of the Sunken City, with 50-60 houses on Lake Hazar, survived until the beginning of the 19th century, is mentioned in the manuscripts. With the rise of the water level in the 19th century, the settlement was submerged under the water. The church, which was built on the highest point of the island, remained in the middle of the lake for a while after the waters covered the island, and then it became ruined and collapsed.
During the summer, tours are made in Lake Hazar with boats departing from Sivrice. When the water level is low, you can see the sunken city.
Eskibağlar Vineyard is an exquisite vineyard house that you should stop by or even stay in the Hazar Valley. Fırat Aral, an electronic engineer from Elazig, wanted to do something for his hometown, and returned to his village near Hazar Lake and started growing öküzgözü and Boğazkere grapes. After long efforts, he succeeded in producing wonderful boutique wines.
Fırat Bey does his job with love, away from commercial concerns. After achieving the desired success in wine production, he had the vineyard house built a hotel consisting of 13 rooms, a pool, a Turkish bath, a restaurant, a tasting room and a sales center for local products. I visited their rooms one by one, every detail is embroidered with a fine spirit.
Overlooking the Sivrice lake and vineyard view, the exquisite stone building where you can feel yourself in Izmir Urla is perfectly decorated. He created one of the most beautiful boutique hotels in the east. Stop by to see the effort spent on Öküzgözü-Boğazkere and to feel the Aegean in its magnificent rooms.