Urfa Castle is thought to have been built over an area from the Neolithic Age dating back 10000 years B.C.12000 year old Balikligol Statue, which was excavated near the castle and is on display in Sanliurfa museum and the castle ground portray the history of the Balikligol basin.
Records dating back to 6th century do not mention the castle. The first records about the castle are from the 11th century. Considering this information, we can date it back to sometime between 6th and 11th centuries. The common knowledge about the castle is that it was built during the reign of Abbasid in 812-814 A.D. The two Corinthian pillar heads were erected as monumental pillars during Edessa Kng MANU IX 240-242 A.D. The Assyrian tablet on the east pillar reads “I’m Aftuha, the son of military commander Barshamas (Son of the Sun).
I built this pillar and the statue in the name of Crown Prince Daughter of MANU, wife of King MANU, my lady and Queen Shalmeth”. There are ditches on theree sides of the castle; also there is a passage through Aynzeliha Tunnel between the castle and Aynzeliha Lake.
Mevlid-i Halil (Devish Lodge) Mosque and Cave
(The birthplace of Prophet Ibrahim)
Mevlid-i Halil Mosque is located near Balikligol within the Dervish Lodge Plateu. Mevlid means “holy birth”. It is believed that Prophet Ibrahim was born in the nearby cave, therefore the Mosque is called Mevlid-I Halil Mosque. According to present records, the construction of the mosque has undergone 5 phases. In the beginning, a pagan temple was built in the area during Seleucus period. There is mention of a Synagogue from the Jewish times. And in early Christianity, in 150 A.D. a Christian Church was built. During the time of the Byzantines Urfa HAgia Sophia was built in the ssame area. Finally, in Ottoman period, in 1523 Muhammed Saleh Pasha built a mosque in the same area. The water of Mevlid-I Halil Cave is said to be second best in terms of healthiness to zamzam water.