Adiyaman is located on the west side of Southeast Region and it is a city of tourism and culture. As a result of the excavations in the city and its surroundings, it is understood that the area was a settlement during the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Calcholithic ages Adiyaman has been dominated by the Hittites, Assyrians, Friggians, Persians, Macedonians, Kommagenes, Romans, Byzantines, Umayyads, Abbasids, Hamdanids, again Byzantines, Ayyubids, Seljuks of Anatolia, Memluklar and Ottomans, respectively. Adiyaman was a district of Malatya in 1923 and became a province by itself on 1954.
Mountain Nemrut Remains is located in the Karadut village of Kahta region, about 86 km away from Adiyaman on the east; it is a very important historical place. It is in the World Heritage Sites list of UNESCO, and accepted as the 8th wonder of the world; its history goes back to the 1st century BC. It is an open air museum at 2150 m height; the visitors really enjoy the sunset and the sunrise at the Nemrut Mountain.
I. Antiochos, King of Kommagenes, built on the Nemrut Mountain, a glorious cenotaph for himself, a tumulus on it and three terraces planned so as to surround the tumulus. These terraces are built for the ceremonies made in the memory of King ı. Antiochos. These terraces are called east, west and north terraces and in the east terrace there is a gods gallery, an ancestors gallery and an altar. The giant god statues in the gods gallery are about 8-10 m high and they are positioned such that their back is turned to the cenotaph. The first statue on the south side belongs to I. Antiochos. The statue is located in the gods gallery next to the gods because the King sees himself as a god. The statue next to the king belongs to Kommagene (Fortune Thyce). Then the statue of Zeus-Oromasdes comes, the god of all gods, lord of the skies, this statue is the highest among all with 10 m height. Next to it there is Apollon-Mithras who symbolizes light, sun and fine arts and Herakles Artagnes who symbolizes strength and power and known as “Hercules” in Anatolia. The statues start with a lion and an eagle statue and end in the same order. Lion symbolizes the power on earth and eagle, the messenger of gods, symbolizes the power of skies. On the back side of the statues, there are inscriptions in Greek letters telling about the country orders and laws, King I. Antiochos’ birthday and details of worship in detail.
West terrace is much like the East terrace except a few details. Different from the west side, on the north side of the gods gallery, there are five relieves, 4 of them define King Antiochos’ greeting with the gods and one has a lion figure, they are made up of grit. Stone plate with the lion relief is special due to its being the oldest known horoscope in the world. Like in the East Terrace, on the back side of the stone blocks forming the king thrones, there is a cult long inscription (Nomos) having 237 lines and written in Greek letters.
North terrace is made to be a 180 m long ceremony road linking the east and west terraces to each other. On this terrace there are unfinished podiums and steles those belong to Kommagene family and the gods.
We also recommend seeing other important ancient cities in the districts of Adiyaman. Arsameia Remains (Nymphaios Arsameia) is made as the summer capital and administration center of Kommagene Kingdom founded by Arsames, the ancestor of Kommagenes, in the beginning of 2nd century BC, on the east side of Kahta stream, against Old Kahta Castle; this is also mentioned in the King I.Antiochos epigraphs. On the ceremony road on the south side of the remains, there is a relief stele of Mithras and on the rite platform there is a stele of Antiochos-Herakles shaking their hands and in front of this there is the biggest known Greek inscription of Anatolia. On the platform on the hill there is also the temple grave and palace of Callinichos. In the palace excavations, many statue pieces and a head of a queen and Antiochos are found.
Inside the Yeni Kale (New Castle), which is located in the Kocahisar village of Kahta district of Adiyaman and built by the Kommagenes, there are mosque, dungeon, water way and dovecote remains. The castle was repaired by Romans and Memluklukler and again repaired in 1970s.
Derik Holy Field (Heroon) is located close to Datgeli village of Sincik district. It is famous for its temple.
Gerger Castle (Firat Arsameia) is built during the Late Hittites period and it is located in the Oymakli village of Gerger district. It is famous for the huge relief of Samos, father of Mithridathes Callinichos, made on hard rock. The castle is in two parts as upward castle and downward castle. The castle is used also in the Islamic period and there are mosque, shops and water cisterns in it.
Perre ancient city is located at a 5 km distance from the Adiyaman city center, in the Pirin region on the way to Kuyucak village. Perre is one of the five big ancient cities of Kommagene Kingdom. The ancient city was an important accommodation center in the Roman times; it is also a religion center due to having sent a representative to the Bible Council gathered in Iznik (Niseaie). The most interesting remains of the city are 208 rock tombs which have relief decorations on the entrance. The tomb rooms are connected to each other and there are sarcophagi in the tomb rooms.
Adiyaman is also worth seeing regarding its tumulus. Karakus Tumulus located on the southwest side of Nemrut Mountain Residues belongs to the time of Kommagene King II. Mithridates. The cenotaph here is surrounded with five columns. Four of these columns are still standing and the name of the tumulus is due to the eagle statue on one of the columns.
Other important places to visit are Sofraz Tumulus located in the Ucgoz (Sofraz) Region that is 12 km away from Besni district and 56 km away from Adiyaman; Sesonk (Obelisk) on the Kizildag that is 33 km away from Besni district to the southeast; Karadag Tumulus located on the sides of Karadag which is about 5 km away from Adiyaman; Bes Tepeler (Five Hills) Tumulus that is in the Ilica village 25 km away from Adiyaman and also Malpinari Rock Inscription belonging to the Late Hittites times by the Goksu river, on the south side of Firlaz village at a 35 km distance to Adiyaman, it dates back to 900-600 BC, has 9 lines and has the size of 182x85 cm, it is made by flattening the natural rock surface.
There also historically important bridges which will help you to understand Roman time bridges more closely. These are; Cendere Bridge over Kahta Spring at a 55 km distance to Adiyaman on the northeast side of Karakus Tumulus, it belongs to the Roman times (2nd century) and is still functioning; Goksu-Kizilin Bridge built over a narrow part of Goksu Spring, between Gumuskaya village and Agcin village on rock ground; Altin (Golden) Bridge located on the southeast sides of Karatepe in Yolbag (Karamagara) village of Golbasi district.
Haydaran which is famous for its relieves in Tasgedik village, 17 km away from Adiyaman to the north; Turus Rock Tombs, 1 km to the west of Adiyaman-Sanliurfa road and 40 km away from Adiyaman city center; Dolmenler which is located close to Asagihozisi village and is believed to belong to the Paleolithic period, Zey, which is close to the Zey village and which contains residence of early time Christians, a tomb and a mosque of Sheikh Abdurrahman Erzincani; Goksu Caves located on the steep rocks at 40-50 m height, along Goksu River; Palanli Cave in Palanli village on the Celikhan-Malatya way, 10 km to the north of Adiyaman; Kitap (Book) Cave which is also called Demir Kale (Iron Castle) and which contains the 2 floored residences of early times Christians and is made by cavitating the rocks and Gumuskaya (Palas) Caves that is by the Goksu River and 40 km to Adiyaman on the southeast and that has balconies, rooms with units and wells and is reached by a narrow road only one person can pass; are also nice places to see and worth to include in the trip route.
Adiyaman is a city also famous for its religious buildings. Important religious architecture samples are; Ulu Mosque (the Grand Mosque), Carsi Mosque, Kab Mosque, Musalla Mosque, St. Paul Church located in the city center; Carsi Mosque, Toktamis Mosque and Ulu Mosque (the Grand Mosque) in Besni district, Abuzer Gaffari Tomb in Ziyaret Village at a 5 km distance to the east of Adiyaman, Mahmut El Ensari Tomb close to Elif village and at a 7 km distance to the east of Adiyaman, Sheikh Abdurrahman Erzincani Tomb which is believed to be good for mentally disordered people and nerve patients, in Zey (Indere) village at a 7 km distance to the north of Adiyaman, Zeynel Abidin Tomb that is known to be belonging to the son of Hz. Ali, Zeynel Abidin, it is located at a 15 km distance to the east of Adiyaman, Ciplak Baba Tomb on Adiyaman-Kahta route at a 22 km distance to Adiyaman and on the south of Adiyaman Airport, Haci Ali Bey Tomb in Sofraz village of Besni district and Haci Yusuf Tomb in Haci Yusuf village of Kahta district.
Adiyaman Archeology Museum which is located in the Downward Firat region, has Neolithic and Calcholithic findings exhibited and it is a place to visit.
Celikhan, Besni and Kotur thermal springs, Degirmenbasi, Karadag Forest, Ziyaret and Degirmen Spring (Sugozu) promenades are also very popular.
Tut Culture and Art Festival taking place on 19-23 July, Celikhan Honey Culture and Tourism Festival taking place on 25-26 August, International Nemrut Kommagene Festival taking place on 26-27 August, Besni Education and Culture Festival taking place on 22-24 September and Golbasi Grape Festival taking place on 29-30 September – 1 October are joyful activities of Adiyaman and its districts.
Adiyaman is also a city available to various sports. Ataturk Barrage Lake is available for surfing. It is possible to paraglide in Nemrut Mountain National Park area. It is possible to go rafting during March, April and May along a 10 km distance from Cendere Bridge to Ataturk Barrage Lake, over Nymphaios River which also has Old Kahta Castle. The city is also very suitable for trekking. Angling is possible in Ataturk Barrage, Azapli, Inekli, Golbasi, Cataltepe and Dot lakes.
Adiyaman has a wide range of handcraft. Handcrafts like rugs and copper works are very common. Rugs, kilims and felts are generally weaved in the villages. In some villages rugs are dyed with madders and in some villages with synthetic dyes. Felt craft is very developed in Adiyaman. There are also saddlebag weaving, leather work and woodcraft are kinds of handcraft in the city.
Cig Kofte (Raw Meatballs), Bassalla (Sour Meatballs), Lentil balls, cilbir (a meal made with eggs, yoghurt and garlic), Adiyaman Pilav, Yapistirma and Hitap are special foods of Adiyaman. Burma Dessert and Pestil are famous desserts of the city.
We suggest you not to return without seeing the Nemrut Mountain, watching the sunrise and sunset there, seeing Kommagene Civilization works and Adiyaman Museum, eating fish at Ataturk Barrage, and restaurants at the Kahta Beach and buying rugs, kilims, cicims and saddlebags weaved in the region and Nemrut statues.www.adiyaman.bel.trwww.adiyaman.gov.tr