Deyrulzafaran Monastery: Temple of the Sun

Deyrulzafaran Monastery: Temple of the Sun

Deyrulzafaran Monastery is a Syriac Orthodox Monastery which is one of the strongest structures in the world and continues its activities actively. There are about 40 people inside, including 18 staff members, 3 clergy and nearly 20 students. The students at the monastery are here to learn the 22-letter Aramaic language of the Assyrians – the language of Jesus.

The monastery, which was used as the Temple of the Sun before Christ, was used as a castle with the Romans. The building, which was later converted into a monastery, was named Mor Şleymun Monastery, Mor Hananyo Monastery, and then called Deyrulzafaran Monastery because of the saffron plants around it.

Deyrulzafaran Ic Gorunum
Deyrulzafaran Dis Gorunum

Formation of Syriacism

It is thought that Syriacism emerged with the unification of two communities under one roof. The fact that the Arameans, under the rule of the Assyrians, had similar customs and religions with the Assyrians, helped these two peoples to fuse with each other and to create a predominantly religious culture over time. Afterwards, the term Syriac began to be used for the people. Parallel to this, they changed the Aramaic language they spoke to Syriac.

Patriarch is the name given to the highest level clergy of the Syriac Orthodox. The monasteries where the patriarchs reside are considered to be religious headquarters. In cases where the patriarchate is vacant, the Holy Synod committee consisting of metropolitans is worshiped and elects a person they have decided to be patriarch.

Deyrulzafaran Monastery served as the Patriarchate center of the Assyrians for 640 years, until 1932. The patriarchate headquarters, which was later in Homs, is today in Damascus, Syria. Deyrulzafaran Monastery in Mardin, on the other hand, is referred to as the metropolitan center, the place where the highest clergyman who came after the Patriarch is located. There are 4 metropolitan centers in Turkey. Currently, the Syriac Metropolitan of Deyrulzafaran Monastery is Saliba Özmen, a graduate of Oxford University.

Deyrulzafaran Kuyu

House of Saints

In the cemetery room of the monastery, there is a snake figure, which means antidote and is still used. Because the monks in the monastery used this place as a medical center before, that is, not only religion but also medicine education was given here. It was converted into a burial chamber after the 14th century.

Deyrulzafaran Azizler Evi Yilan Figuru

Each of the niches on the walls is a burial chamber in itself. There are a total of 7 of these tombs in this room, and only high-ranking clergy can stay in these tombs. A stone chair in each tomb. The bodies of the deceased clergy, together with their religious clothes, are placed facing east, in the belief that Jesus Christ will come from the east on the Day of Judgment. During the burial, the previous body becomes ossified and the bones are collected on the side of the grave.

Deyrulzafaran Azizler Evi Mezarlik

A total of 52 clergy have been buried so far, the last burial took place in 1969.

Virgin Mary Church

In the monastery, there is a church where a ceremony is held once a year, on August 15, Virgin Mary’s Day, the Church of the Virgin Mary.

Deyrulzafaran Hac Isareti

In this church, the model of an old printing house and the monastery, made with only matchsticks and completed in 3 years, is worth seeing. It was Peter IV, who brought this printing house here in 1876, after a visit to England, and was also patriarch here.

Deyrulzafaran Kibrit Copleriyle Maket

Sun Temple

This dark room, used as a sun temple, has a single window. This window faces east. In this room, people who worshiped the sun used to pray between the sun’s rays and their disappearance. In the nook on the right, people or animals were sacrificed. The history of this building built in the monastery dates back to ancient times. Its most important feature is its durability. It was built by the method of compressing stones 1.5 meters long and weighing about a ton upwards. The ceiling, which was prepared without using any material, became stronger over time against earthquakes as the stones were leaning against each other because they were V-shaped.

Deyrulzafaran Gunes Tapinagi