Balikli Göl, Şanlıurfa

From Gaziantep, across the Euphrates River, going to Şanlıurfa.

From Gaziantep, across the Euphrates River, going to Şanlıurfa.

It takes 1 hour 40 minutes (c.150 km) from Gaziantep to Şanlıurfa.

Arrived at the city of Şanlıurfa.

Arrived at the city of Şanlıurfa.

Şanlıurfa (often called “Urfa,” in ancient times “Edessa”) is a city with 561,465 inhabitants in south-eastern Turkey, and the capital of Şanlıurfa Province.

Şanlıurfa sightseeing map from PlanetWare.

Şanlıurfa sightseeing map from PlanetWare.

Arrived in Şanlıurfa, I went to the pond of the sacred fish first.

Arrived in Şanlıurfa, I walked to Balikli Göl, the pond of the sacred fish, first.

On the way to the holy Pond of the sacred fish, there's water mill and the local people are enjoying there.

On the way to the holy Pond of the sacred fish, there’s water mill and the local people are enjoying there.

Balikli Göl (fishpond) is an artificial pond in the city of Şanlıurfa southeastern Turkey.

Sacred Fish Lake Şanlıurfa

Sacred Fish Lake Şanlıurfa

The holy Pond and the sacred fish.

The holy Pond and the sacred fish.

Local families were enjoying at the lakeside of Sacred Fish.

Local families were enjoying at the lakeside of Sacred Fish.

According to the legend, Abraham was born and raised here, and that he incurred the wrath of King Nimrod when he not only declared war on idolatry but also won the heart of the king’s daughter, Zeliha. The King Nimrod sentenced Abraham to death, and a huge pyre was built in the middle of the city. Miraculously, just as Abraham was tossed into the fire, the flames were transformed into water and the logs into fish.

There are really various people around the sacred pond.

There are really various people around the sacred pond.

Since then, the Pool of Abraham and the carp that live in it have been considered sacred. The Pool of king’s daughter Zeliha is said to have been formed by Zeliha’s tears and it is said that anyone who eats the fishes will be struck blind.

Many of the local people were going to the Mevlid-I Halil Mosque.

Many of the local people were going to the Mevlid-I Halil Mosque.

Pond of Zeliha's tears

Pond of Zeliha’s tears

The gate of the Mevlid-I Halil Mosque.

The gate of the Mevlid-I Halil Mosque.

 

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