East – Turkey – Urfa – Abraham’s pond

Urfa is an old city, Alexander called it Edessa. It was christened around year 200 and according to Muslim tradition it was the old city of Ur where Abraham was born and raised. They have even located the cave where he was born and was hiding many years. He was eventually caught and was put in a giant sling-shot between two pilars and shot into a huge fire. The pilars are still standing, but they are far too young. When he hit the fire it turned into a pool and the sparks turned into fishes!

Well, it is a Muslim legend and chances for this to be true is very slim. Most historians concludes that Kaldea with Ur as a major city was in the southern part of todays Iraq and Kuwait and Ur was a coastal city where Eufrat ran into the sea. The coast was further north than now.

But there are a few voices on the Internet that claims Ur to be Urfa as the Muslim legend claims.

As mentioned the pilars for the giant slingshot are medival 2-3000 years too young  and I don’t think they at Abraham’s time had elastic material good enougn to make a giant slingshot.

Then comes the mysterious transformation of fire to water and sparks to fishes, so all in all: it is a legend and not the true history.

It can also be mentioned that the Muslim story of Abraham’s birth has many similarities with the Christion desciption of the birth of Jesus.


The two pilars for the sling-shot   (They are much younger)           Abraham’s pond


Abraham’s birth place where he also got milk from a deer.

The city of Urfa or Sanurfa is a Kurdish dominated city and we experienced some of the tension. A Kurdish woman who lived in Sweden and was on a visit recommended us not to stay too long as it could be trouble. We saw several armed vehicles in the streets and during the night we heard gun shots. We left early next morning.


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