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- VAN CITY &
AKDAMAR - CITY CENTER
The province of Van sits by Lake Van, and was
the ancient Urartian capital of Tuspa. It is situated
in a green, fertile
oasis in the midst of rocky mountains. An impressive
citadel stands on one of these peaks and dates back
to the 9th- century BC. There are steps carved into
rock leading to the fortress, and while descending you
will be able to see some cuneiform inscriptions paying
homage to Persian King Xerxes of the 5th-century BC.
In the fortress, the Urartian royal tombs are of interest.
The surrounding area is full of Urartian remains.
In the old city there
are many mosques and mausoleums such as the Ulu Mosque,
the Husrev Pasa Mosque, the Kaya Celebi Mosque and the
Ikiz Kumbet. The Archaeological Museum in the new city
exhibits the Urartian finds. At Van Harbour you may
find pleasant places to rest. For swimming and camping
you may head for Edremit, 14 kms to the southwest. It
is a holiday resort center from where you may do some
sightseeing excursions. At Gevas, there is a Seljuk
graveyard, filled with extraordinary headstones, as
well as the lovely Halime Hatun Tomb.