Hasankeyf grew along the banks of the Tigris as it lies on the road from Diyarbakir to Iraq via Cizre at an important river crossing. The main settlement and citadel is spread over a large promontory on the south bank of the river. The rock of the cliffs is soft and has been carved into cave housing throughout the area. Hasankeyf became a prominent city in 1102 under Sukman, the son of Artuk (founder of the Artuqid dynasty). The Artuqids maintained Hasankeyf as their capital until the Ayyubids took the city in 1232. They held the city until 1462, at which time the Turkoman Akkoyunlu ruled until the end of the fifteenth century, who in turn handed the city back to the Kurds. The Ottomans fought the Kurds for control of the city, eventually succeeding in the 1830's.

In addition to the medieval bridge for which it is best known (built in 1116), Hasankeyf also has a citadel and a number of mosques. The main palace is atop the bluff to the southwest of the town, reached by a pathway through three stone ornamented gates built in the early fifteenth century. Also part of the citadel complex are a smaller palace overlooking the river, a great mosque, and fortification walls. The small palace has a room whose vault is made of clay jars cemented together. In the town there are numerous mosques and other medieval buildings. The Sultan Sulayman Camii, actually a tekke for dervishes, was built in 1356 by Ghazi, the father of Sulayman. The mosque is attributed to Sulayman because he was responsible for the addition of a cesme (fountain) in 1416. The ruins of the mosque include an intact minaret.

Sinclair, T. A. 1989. Eastern Turkey: an architectural and archaeological survey. London: The Pindar Press. 

Associated Sites
Variant Names
Alternate transliteration
Hisn Kayfa (Arabic)
حصن كيفا
Formerly known as