Ardahan, one of the Eastern Anatolian border cities, is famous with the Damal Mountain, within the city boundaries, on the slopes of which a silhouette of Atatürk, founder of the Republic of Turkey, appears. This shadow silhouette can be seen for about 20 minutes by 18:00 hours on the slopes of Karadağ every year from the 1 5 June until 1 5 July. A festival is held there on these dates with the name “Following Atatürk Under His Shadow”.


The area is almost a museum of castles. There are many castles. The important ones: The excavations held around the Ardahan Castle revealed that people lived there in the Bronze Age. The castle is of Ottomans architecture from the XVI century. The surveys held in the castle prove that it has witnessed rules of several kingdoms. The Savaşır (Cancak) Castle is in the south of Savaşır Village of Posof province. It is located on a steep hill with plains on three sides. The Kinzi Castle is in the Bülbülan Yaylası (Plains) at Bağdeşe (Kinzodamal) Village 30 km to the west of Ardahan. The Sevimli Castle is on a peninsula shaped steep hill in the Kura River valley about 500 m to the south from the Sevimli (Vel) Village which is about 18-20 km from the city centre.

The Kalecik Castle is just next to Kalecik Village of Göle Province. The Şeytan (Satan) Castle is in the vicinity of Yıldırımtepe Village of Çıldır Province. We have no definitive information about the history and the name of Kurtkale (Wolf Castle) that also names the small town near it. The Kazankale is about 12-13 km in the northeast of Ardahan, on the right of Kura Vadisi (Valley). One can also visit the Altaş (Ur) and Kimay castles.

Historical Mosques

Merkez Mevlit Efendi Mosque is about 150- 200 m east from the castle. According to the records it was built in 170 . The half upper part and the top section of the walls were renovated lately. The Posof Mosque is coming from 1868 according to the records. It is made of cut stones.

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The Övündü caves are near the Kurtkale Övündü Village of Çıldır. They were used for housing in the old ages. There are numerous caves and a large rock church in the rocks in Kura River Valley in the south of Ortakent (Büyük Nakala) in the east of

Hanak province. The historical sources indicate that they have traces from Palaeolithic Age.

Lake Çıldır

Winters are very cold here, so this lake freezes in November and the thickness of the ice becomes about 1 m. It does not melt before beginning of April. They fish in winter through the holes they make in this ice. The Akçakale Island in the lake is a preservation site as it is housing the relics of an ancient island city as well as its natural beauties. Apart from the Lake Çıldır it is also possible to fish with lines in the Aktaş and Aygır lakes and in the Posof Stream.

Çıldır / Taşköprü (Stone Bridge) Epitaphes This epitaph is situated on a large piece of rock in the Taşköprü Village, 30 km in the south of the city centre. It is believed to be the oldest in the region and it is told that it belonged to the Urartian King Sarduri II.

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