- Gobeklitepe (means “Pot belly hill” in Turkish) is an archaeological site located on a hilltop in the Sanliurfa city, southeastern Turkey.
- Dates back to Pre-Pottery Neolithic period, 9000 BC to 10500 BC which is 6,000 years before the Stonehenge and 7,000 years before the Great Pyramid.
- Built by the early humans 11,600 years ago, before mental tools, wheel, writing, engineering and declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site, the First known Temple in the world, a Zero Point in Time.
- Consists of a complex monumental site of temples of precision cut 14-tonne pillars with totems, animal figurines and mysterious symbols.
- You can travel to Gobeklitepe from Istanbul by air via GAP Sanliurfa Airport. Daily tours from Istanbul to Gobeklitepe is the most practical, comfortable and convenient way to visit Gobeklitepe from Istanbul.
Where is Gobeklitepe?
Gobeklitepe is located on the southeastern Anatolian region of Turkey, near the Orencik village, about 18 km. from the city of Sanliurfa, and about 50 km. from the GAP Sanliurfa Airport. Gobeklitepe is located about 1,300 km. from Istanbul.
Gobeklitepe archaeological site was built about 12,000 years ago, 9000 BC to 10500 BC which is 6,000 years before the Stonehenge and 7,000 years before the Great Pyramid, during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic era where there is no mental tools, wheel, writing and engineering. Gobeklitepe is the first known temple in the world and also called as the Zero point in time.
The area was first discovered in the year 1963, during the surface survey by the joint work of the Istanbul and Chicago Universities, and declared as the V52 Neolithic Settlement. In 1995, new excavations began with the management of the Sanliurfa Archaeological and Mosaic Museum and the German Archaeologist Klaus Schmidt (after 2007) and afterwards till today, it is revealed that Gobeklitepe was a cult center from the 12,000 years ago.
Who Built It?
Excavations still goes on. It is not solved yet that which civilization and for what reason Gobeklitepe was built. But the findings prove that the area was built for religious purposes.
Gobeklitepe finding are excepted as the most unique archaeological discovery in the world, and declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site on July 2018 as well as the first Temple in the world.
What to See?
Gobeklitepe consists of a complex monumental site of temples of precision cut 14-tonne pillars with totems, animal figurines and mysterious symbols. The findings on the Gobeklitepe archaeological site are exhibited at the Sanliurfa Archeological and Mosaic Museum, located at the city center (Address: Haleplibahçe Mahallesi, 2372. Sk., Merkez, Eyyübiye, Sanliurfa).
- The weight of the T-shaped pillars varies between 40 to 60 tons.
- The architectural work is beyond its time.
- There are embossed animal figurines on the pillars such as snake, wild boar and wild duck.
- Gobeklitepe is believed to be the mother land of wheat and the agriculture was for beer producing.
- Regarding the homogenic distribution of the limestone and soil on the site, and the many remnants’ being cleared out before the site was closed, it is believed that Gobeklitepe was buried under the ground. But there is no answer that why it was buried.
- The bottom floor of the temple has waterproof features and so it is believed that there were religious rituals with blood, alcohol or other liquids.
Actually you should ask “Why Not Visit Gobeklitepe?” An UNESCO World Heritage Site, the first Temple in the World and the Zero Point in time, 6,000 years before the Stonehenge and 7,000 years before the Great Pyramid.
A chance to witness the Pre-Pottery Neolithic era history, to discover one of world’s first faiths belonging to the hunter gatherer ancestors of the human beings, to see a temple with extraordinary animal figurines and how people lived about 12,000 years ago and to admire the architecture very far ahead of its time.
Daily Tours from Istanbul
As Gobeklitepe is located very far away from Istanbul (about 1300 km.) and there are not much hotels and tourist facilities in Sanliurfa, we highly recommend you to visit Gobeklitepe by daily tours from Istanbul, made by the quality travel agents. So with this opportunity you ‘ll save yourself from the hassle of making all the arrangements including the flight, hotel arrangement, attraction tickets and 2-ways transportation by your own. Also there are several popular sights to visit and see in Sanliurfa that you may take the advantage of seeing them by daily guided tours.
As for daily tour companies, we highly recommend the world brand Viator that has recently started Gobeklitepe tours from Istanbul, via the best reputed and registered tour agents in Istanbul and offer comfortable, safe and the cheapest tours with 2-ways transportation from your hotel or meeting point, professional guides, insurance and easy cancellation. You may find the top selling guided Gobeklitepe tours from Istanbul below. Make sure you check all the tours, read what they offer and the comments on the tour agents, and choose the one that best suits your needs.
Top Selling Gobeklitepe Tours from Istanbul
* Gobeklitepe Tour from Istanbul – from €579.37
* Daily Gobeklitepe Tour From Istanbul – from €302.36
* Cappadocia & Gobeklitepe & Mt. Nemrut Escorted Private Tour – 7 Days – from €1,780.00
* Cultural Tour To Turkey – 15 Days – from €2,863.71
* Treasures of Turkey Turkey Tour – 14 Days Small Group – from €2,226.94
Open every day from 08:00-17:00 (from 14 April to 01 October), 08:00-19:00 (from 15 April to 02 October)
Ticket price is 30 TL (Muzekart+ is valid).
Places To See in Sanliurfa
Sanliurfa is one of the favorite cities on the southeastern Turkey where you can admire the history, culture, art and gastronomy. When you visit Gobeklitepe, you will also have a chance to experience and admire the Sanliurfa Archaeological and Mosaic Museum, which is the largest museum complex in Turkey and also hosts the findings belonging to Gobeklitepe, the Pools of Abraham and the Cave where it is believed that the Prophet Abraham was born.
And you may also experience the gastronomy of Sanliurfa, which is one the best in Turkey, taste the delicious flavors of the southeastern Turkey, as well as make shopping in the traditional local markets.
How to Get There?
There are few options to get to Gobeklitepe. Located in the Sanliurfa city of southeastern Turkey, the best way to travel to Gobeklitepe is to fly to GAP Sanliurfa Airport. You can easily find direct flights from Istanbul, Izmir and Ankara to Sanliurfa every day. It takes about 1 hour 45 minutes.
After getting to Sanliurfa Airport, you can get to Gobeklitepe by taxis, car rentals, municipal buses or private tour buses to Gobeklitepe.
Getting to Gobeklitepe from Sanliurfa Airport via taxi would cost about 150-200 TL and about 100 TL from Sanliurfa city center.
by Public Bus
The Sanliurfa Municipal Buses operate between Gobeklitepe and Sanliurfa city center, three runs every day between 10:00 to 18:00 (10:00, 13:00 and 16:00 from city center to Gobeklitepe and 12:00, 15:00 and 18:00 from Gobeklitepe to city center). Gobeklitepe Municipal Bus number is 100 and departure point from city center is Abide stop. Ticket costs 5 TL.