The city of Van is a nominee to become the capital city of the east. With its being the capital city of the Urartian Civilization, its lake, its cat, its very special cuisine and especially with its hospitable people, there is everything a tourist shall look for. It was a large and important city in the ancient history; it was the capital city of the Urartians. The 51 km long irrigation canal opened in the time of King Menua is still used today. It is considered to be an engineering marvel of its time. This canal called Samran Suyu is a wonderful piece of Urartian engineering.
Van Castle

It is built on a narrow hill, it overlooks the plain. A Seljuk made 1000 steps stairway leads up to the top. It was built in 855 BC at the time of Urartian King Sarduri I. It has four concentric rows of walls. The Sarduri tower (51 x 26-m) is made of block stones. The manuscripts in Asurian language on it are the oldest known. It has been used since Urartians until Ottomans. In the Ottomans time the walls were repaired, and some buildings, like Mosque, medresseh, military barracks, water tower and warehoses were added later. At the skirts of the castle are The Ulu Mosque (1389J, remaining from the Karakoyunlular and had been used until World War I., Kayaçelebi Mosque, Hüsrev Pasha Mosque (1565) and some mosque ruins, baths and medressehs. Now we go from the city centre towards Gürpınar and we visit Çavuştepe on the Başkale road. Here, down the hill is the Temple of God King Irmushini. The Anzaf Castle, 10 km away from Van is just another one of the many castles around.

Lake Van and Ahtamar Island

Whatever season and time you go to the lake you see it in a different colour. It looks more like a sea with its 3765 area and 430 km coast line. The church on the Ahdamar Island on the lake was built by King Gagik in early 900 and is a unique stone carving masterpieces of Armenians. It is a pilgrimage place for Armenians. Both the sunrise and the sunset are magnificent at Lake Van. Sunrise is nice to see from Van and sunset is nice to see from Tatvan. The beautiful bays and the banks with their green are worthwhile to see.

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