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Lake Van
Akdamar Island



























Van on the southeastern shores of Lake Van, the largest lake in Turkey, was Tuspa, the capital city of the Urartians (1000 B.C.). Van Citadel was first constructed by Sardur I, the Urartian King, in the ninth century B.C., is 80 meters above the lake level and extends 1800 meters from the east to the west, and 120 meters from the north to the south. The city of Van was at the southern foot of the citadel before the First World War.

Today, in this region which is called Old Van, there are historical structures from the Seljuk and Ottoman Periods.Urartian artifacts found in the region are exhibited in a rich collection, at the Archaeological Museum in Van.The city is known for its kilims, made with natural dyes and the art of silversmithing is also developed. Furthermore, Van cats are famous because the color of each eye is different and they have thick white fur.

Lake Van is in the realm of the beauties of Eastern Anatolia. Mountain silhouettes, coves, beaches, islands, waterfalls and centers belonging to various historical ages are located around the lake. There is plenty of sodium carbonate in the lake which is at an elevation of 1720 meters above sea level. The fish caught in the lake are without fat and very delicious. Among the islands in Lake Van, Akdamar Island is the most beautiful. This is the place in the region that becomes green the earliest in the spring. There is a church remaining from the tenth century on the island, which can be reached by motorboat from the wharf, at a distance of 45 km from Van. The external facade of the church is covered with reliefs from the Old Testament and New Testament of the Bible.