Mosaic Museum Şanlıurfa

Mosaic Museum Şanlıurfa

Mosaic Museum Şanlıurfa has several mosaic masterpieces that were found at or close to the spot where the museum is located. The mosaics are relatively recent, dating from the 5th and 6th century AD in the time that Şanlıurfa was called Edessa. I liked especially the mosaic of the Amazons, fearlessly hunting ladies.

urfa 19th century villa
19th century Urfa House
urfa roman baths
Haleplibahce Roman Baths


Mosaic Museum Şanlıurfa lies next to the Arkeoloji Müzesi, the archeological museum. On the other side it lies next to an old 19th century Urfa house and beyond that excavations of Roman baths, both on pictures above. On traffic signs pointing to touristic activities this museum complex is simply referred to as ‘Urfa Müzesi’, ignoring other museums because this is thé one – certainly the largest. Tickets for the Mosaic Museum Şanlıurfa also go for the Arkeoloji Müzesi.

Mosaic Museum Şanlıurfa

Mosaic Museum Şanlıurfa is a large round building. Paths have been made over and in between mosaics. This makes your visit a pleasant walk. As you can see, I was the only visitor: lots of possibilities to watch in detail. All mosaics found are local, deriving from byzantine Edessa: villas with mosaics were excavated on this spot, called Haleplibahce by locals.

Mosaic Museum Şanlıurfa
Orpheus Mosaic, only/oldest one dating from 194 AD. Once smuggled out of the country and recently given back by Dallas Museum.

Like the Arkeoloji Müzesi, extra room on the floor is left for future findings that will certainly be done. In 2013, new pieces were added to the museum.There were three things I particularly liked. One is that the mosaic stones that reportedly derive from the river Euphrate, are much smaller than in mosaics elsewhere. This turns the mosaics in very fine representations. The best artists must have been at work here!

Mosaic Museum Şanlıurfa
Mosaic Museum Şanlıurfa

Mosaic Museum Şanlıurfa

Two is the mosaic of the Amazons, the warrior women from ancient myths that are depicted here while fighting with predators like the lion on the picture. This mosaic was discovered quite recently, in 2007. On the wall the museum shows the mosaic as it must have been when it was complete. A great piece!

Mosaic Museum Şanlıurfa

Three is the ‘zebra whisperer’: the representation of a servant with a zebra. I found that strikingly beautiful and unique in its kind.

To finish, a mosaic with syriac inscriptions, particular for this region only:

Mosaic Museum Şanlıurfa
Mosaic with Syriac inscriptions, general language in byzantine Edessa

Follow this link for more info about the mosaics of this museum (in Turkish)

Read here about Mosaic Museum Bardo in Tunis

And here about mosaics of Agias Trias Basilica in Cyprus