The old city and castle of Van

The castle of Van is an almost two  kilometre long steep rock overlooking Lake Van. In the 9th century BC it was the capital of the Urartian Kingdom. The centuries thereafter it always remained important as an almost impregnable natural fortification.

Traditionally the town of Van consisted of two parts. The administrative and commercial centre, surrounded by a wall, was situated at the foot of the Castle Rock. Most of the population lived in the lush gardens of the "Garden city" between the castle and the Erek/Varak Mountain.

The walled city was destroyed in the First World War. Some remains of mosques, churches and other important buildings remain.

In this section you will find some photos of the remains of old Van and of the castle. Photos were taken in various years 2007 and 2008, before the "restauration" of the castle, in which it lost much of its authenticity.

Some captures of the splendid panaroma on the lake and the modern city of Van are available in a separate section. Follow the links under the photos.

Remains of old Van (2007)

Van castle

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