Just 10 km (6 miles) southeast of Mardin is the Syrian Orthodox Dayrul Zafran. Begun in the 5th century and partially restored in the 19th century, the monastery is still in use and sits like a golden jewel in the scrubby hills of a hidden side valley. Highlights include the main church and the burial chapel, which date from the 5th century and are filled with Roman detailing, and an underground chamber, said to be a former sun temple—the heavy stone ceiling is a miracle of Roman engineering. You may catch sight of one of the rahip (priests) who still speak and teach Aramaic, the language of Christ.
Off road from Mardin to Nusaybin, Mardin, Mardin, Turkey