Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

Ali Aga Kasri or Aga’s Mansion is a historical mansion in a cave-style.  Rooms and several compartments in the interior is carved out of a single giant rock sitting on the edge of a cliff adjacent to Hasankeyf Castle.  

The rock stone structures on top and sides of the rock mansion may have been added on a later part.  Stairs made from congregated rocks serves as a path going up onto to the side deck enclosing the mansion on its fringes where one can marvel at the views of the whole surrounding.   

As the castle isn’t open to the public so the picturesque aerial view of the surrounding isn’t possible from the top of the castle complex, the best way is to walk up the hill to this cave mansion.  It serves as a tea house cum observatory.  Nothing has been mentioned about its history but it may have been owned by a prominent figure (Ali Aga) of a distant past.

No entry fee to the place so the reasonable way to recompense is to order a cup of tea.  There were just a  handful of local tourists at the view deck that day.  The adjacent castle is almost of the same elevation, or this location may be higher.  The view of the Tigris river with the remnants of the old bridge, the minaret of the Rizk Mosque, the mountain ranges on the horizon, some historical sights speckles the green plains on the other side of the river at the rear side of the castle, in fact, it’s almost a 360 degrees of a splendid panorama.

Although there is a small view deck on the ground level of the mansion, the terraces around the mansion accessible through the stairs commands the best view of the whole town and the old bridge plus of course the neighboring castle.

Arabic inscription on the side of the mansion.

I did not see any food being served except for the hot beverages, so I ended up drinking 4 cups of a strong turkish tea and a bottle of water.  Tea is cheap at TL1 that includes the best views from the highest point of the town.  


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