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Balıklı Göl (Abraham Pool)

A sacred pool of fish with a biblical history


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The pool of Abraham or Balikli Göl (meaning "fish in the lake" in Turkish) is a major landmark of Urfa (Şanlıurfa) visited by many Turks as well as foreign visitors. This pool is believed to be the place where prophet Abraham was thrown into the fire by King Nimrod. Legend has it that when Abraham, also called Ibrahim, landed in the fire, Allah turned the flames to water and the burning logs into fish. Thus, the pool became a sacred pilgrimage site.

The carp fish in the lake enjoy protected status; therefore, there are hundreds of them in Balıklı Göl. Visitors are encouraged to feed the fish, purchasing small bags of fish food from local vendors. Most fish are dark grey or black but if you see a white carp, it is a sign of blessing.

Urfa is the place where Abraham was born and raised, according to a legend, and it also has many other Biblical sites. The nearby Pool of Ayn-Zeliha is said to have been formed by the tears of Zeliha, Nimrod's daughter.

The best time to visit Abraham Pool and Urfa is from mid-September to April when the weather is more pleasant. Summers bring scorching heat to the area, so it can become rather uncomfortable for sightseeing.

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