Seven Journeys to Anatolia: Episode I



According to the legend of the great flood, Noah’s Ark ran aground at Mount Ağrı (Ararat). When the flood waters receded, Noah and his family descended the mountain towards the fertile Iğdır Plain, whence their descendants moved west- and southwestward along the Fırat (Euphrates) and Dicle (Tigris) Rivers, thus establishing the second generation of humankind.


Mount Ağrı (5165 meters), near Doğubayazıt, is still Turkey’s most spectacular natural monument, and a very popular subject for the world’s nature photographers, who come to capture the mountain’s biblical majesty.


The spectacular İshak Paşa Palace just outside Doğubayazıt was built by İshak Paşa, Ottoman governor of the province in the 17th century.


Lake Van, ringed by beautiful mountains, at an altitude of 1,720 meters, is the largest lake in Turkey. You can circle the lake, visiting several ancient Urartian sites, Turkish historical art and cultural centers and beautiful castles as well as other places that represent the legacies of the various peoples who inhabited the area.


Some of the islands in Lake Van have monasteries and churches built on them. Akdamar Island, southwest of Van, Is the most important of these. A half-hour boatride takes you out to see the 10th century Church of the Holy Cross, now a museum, whose stone walls are richly carved with scenes and figures from the Old Testament.

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