Historic City of Harput and The Castle Harput, situated on the side of a limestone mountain with steep cliffs, was originally built as a fortress city for protection during periods of war and invasion. However, over time it transformed into a bustling trade center. The city has a long history of hosting various cultures, including Urartu, Byzantine, Artukids, Seljuks, and Ottoman. The Harput Castle, a natural fortress built to defend the city, served as a strong military base in the Urartu era. The castle was later expanded by various conquerors and rulers, who added their own touches to the structure. Today, visitors can see remnants of the Ottoman Quarter, inner fortress mosques, water cisterns, and dungeons. The Artuklu Palace also has hidden tunnels that allowed passage outside. There is a secret passage that connects the castle to the Church of the Virgin Mary, while other historical sources provide a link to the Castle Bath and Inner Castle. The dungeon was built by Belek Gazi in 1123. During afforestation work in the Harputta Nevroz Forests, a relief was discovered that revealed the city's history to be 2200 years old. The relief measures 2.72 x 2.42 and is carved on local sandstone rock. It depicts the conquest of a fortress and the arrival of prisoners before the king in a storytelling expression style. Harput is a city that has been home to numerous civilizations for thousands of years, and one of the most significant examples of this cultural heritage is the Church of the Virgin Mary. This Christian church, located in Harput, Anatolia, is one of the oldest in the region, dating back to its construction in 179 AD by the Abgar Kingdom. The church's entrance is a small, sheltered addition that was later added to the northern wall, and which includes some reclaimed materials. The north wall of the church is made of old rocks, while its west side is carved into the natural rock. The church's layout runs on an east-west axis, with a 3-divisional apse in the eastern direction. Today, the Church of the Virgin Mary still serves the Assyrian community, and its doors are open to anyone seeking spiritual healing, as it is believed to cure some mental health ailments. The church also hosts an important ceremony every year on August 15th, known as the Asdvadzadzin (celestial ascension) festival. In 2018, the History City of Harput and its Castle were added to UNESCO's tentative list, recognizing the city's rich cultural heritage and significance.