According to Muslim tradition it is the location of Ur, and the birthplace of Abraham is said to be at a mosque in the city. In ancient and medieval times it was called Edessa (for a more detailed history of the city, see that article). Under the Ottomans it was a centre of trade in cotton, leather, and jewellery. It still has ruins of its ancient walls and of an Arab castle. The population is about 275,000 (1990). There are 3 Catholic parishes, Syrian, Armenian, and Latin.