Area: 19.069 km²
Population: 637.433 (1990)
Traffic Code: 65
Van and its environment had been a popular center of population because of its geographical structure, and because of reason a number of civilizations had lived here. Van used to be the capital city of Urania State. It had been controlled by Hurrines, Hittites, Persians, Meds, Seljuks and Ottomans till today.
Lake Van is the most important tourism center of the Eastern Anatolia with the Akdamar Church, the castles in the region, with its cat, and with its geography that provides many tourism activities.
Districts : Bahçesaray, Başkale, Çaldıran, Çatak, Edremit, Erciş, Gevaş, Gürpınar, Muradiye, Özalp and Saray.
How to Get
Highway In Van, there exists the highway that connects Iran to Turkey.
The Inter – City Bus Station is 4 km away from the city center. It can be reached there by dolmush.
Railway The Railway Station is 5 km away from the city center. It can be reached there by dolmush. Railway Station Tel : ( + 90 -432 ) 213 13 80
Airport The airport is 7 km away from the city center. It can be reached to the airport by dolmush or by service busses of Turkish Airlines. Airport Tel : ( + 90 – 432 ) 217 16 54 THY Reservation Office : ( + 90 – 432 ) 216 10 19
Van Lake Transportation Parallel to the Railway, the railway connection between Tatvan and Van is provided by ferry boats over Van Lake. Regular ferry boat voyages are available. The voyage between Van and Tatvan takes about 4 hours. Tourist Vocations to the islands on the Van Lake are available.
Where to Visit
Van Lake and Akdamar Island
The city takes its name from the Van Lake. It is the biggest sodium carbonate Lake in the world. The Lake is covered with high mountains. There four islands in the lake; named, Akdamar, Adır, Çarpanak, and Kuş Islands. It had been given many names to the Lake in the history, like Little Sea, High Sea, and Nairi sea. The water of the Van Lake is very salty and full of sodium carbonate. It foams without using any soap. One can wash his/her clothes in the Lake without using and detergents. The color of the Van Lake changes at any time of the date and at any time of the year. The unspoiled and green shores effects the visitors.
Akdamar Island is the greatest island in the lake. The church founded by King Gagic is an unique example of stone handcraft. It can be reached to island by taking the boats from Gevaş Wharf.
Van can be called as “the city of castles”. There are many castles in Van. Some of these castles had been constructed in the Middle Ages, and some had been made at the times of Uranians.
The most important castles at the region are; Down and Upper Zıvistan Castles, Beyüzümü Castle, Çatak Castle, Lamurkesen (Zernek) Castle, Hişet Castle, Pizan (Örenkale) Castle, Kalecik Castle, Zernaki Hill Castle, Muradiye Castle, Albak (Başkale) Castle, Deliçay Castle, Çelebibağ Castle, Yoncatepe Castle, Müküs Castle and Amik Castle.
Van Castle Van Castle is within the borders of Van city. It is 5 km away from the city center. It is one of the most magnificent castles of Urinian civilization. It had been founded by the son of Lutupri, Sarduri the 1st in the 9th century. On the walls of the castle, there exists the oldest Urinian hieroglyphics. The rock tombs, and the Horhor inscriptions are the other important characteristics of the castle.
The old houses, thermal baths, mosques and vaults in the old city center makes you take a trip in the history.
Hoşap Castle Hoşap Castle takes place within the borders of Hoşap District, and it is 60 km away from Van city center. The castle had been constructed on a sloppy rock. There are watch towers, towers, mosques, and many other authentic values in the castle. There also exists the oldest Ottoman Bridge of the region at the south of the castle.
Ağartı Castle The castle takes place at the east shore of Van Lake. The walls of the castle are still undamaged, and they had been constructed with andesite stones.
Kef Castle Kef Castle is one of the most important centers of the Urinian civilization. There is a palace, and animal and plant reliefs in the castle.
Çavuştepe Castle The castle is 25 km away from the city center. It takes place within the borders of Çavuştepe Village of Gürpınar District. The castle has two sections, called upper and down castles. The castle had founded by King 2nd Sarduri at BC 764 – 734. There are many temples, towers, palaces, water basins, and hieroglyphics in the castle.
Ayanıs Castle It takes place within the borders of Ayanış Village, which is 35 km away from Van city center. It had been constructed between BC 645 – 643. It enlightens the last periods of Urinian civilization. It is very close to the shore of Van Lake.
Toprakkale Castle It takes place on a rocky hill of Zimzim Mountains. It had been founded by the Urinian King Rusa the 2nd, between BC 685 – 645. There are water basins, temples, and stairs carved on the rocks, in the castle.
Aşağı-Yukarı Anzaf Castles The castles are 10 km away from Van city center. There are towers, depots, palaces, silos, and inscriptions in the castle.
Akdamar Church It is the church that gives its name to the biggest island of the Van Lakewhich it is on. It is at the southeast of the island and 3 m away from the shore. It can be reached to the island by boats.
It had been founded by King Gagik for the honor of sacred cross. There are a variety of figurative representations in the church, such as the banishing of Adam and Eve from the Heavben, and the birth of Jesus Christ.
Adır Church The church takes place on the Adır Island of the Van Lake. It had been made in 1305. Saint George’s Church had been added to the main complex at 1621.
Yedi Church It had been constructed to the foots of Erek Mountain in the 8th century.
MOSGUES, MEDRESES (THEOLOGICAL SCHOOLS) AND VAULTS
The most important mosques in Van are Ulu Mosque, Hüsrev Paşa Mosque, Kızıl Mosque, Gevaş İzzettin Çir Mosque, Süleyman Han Mosque, Kaya Çelebi Mosque, Horhor Mosque and Abbasağa Mosque. Hüsrev Paşa Medrese (Theological School), Hoşap Hasan Bey Medrese, Hoşap Evliya Bey Medrese, Gevaş Halime Hatun Vault, Erciş Anonim (Zortul) Vault are the places that should be visited by the visitors.
Hüsrev Paşa Mosque (Center): The mosque, which is at former Van city, is constructed by one of the viziers of Kanuni Sultan Süleyman, Van Beylerbeyi Hüsrev Paşa. It is understood from the inscription on its door that the mosque is contsructed on 1567.
Kaya Çelebi Mosque (Center): Its construction is started at former Van city on 1592 by one of the merchants of Van, Çelebizade Koçi Bey, and completed by Cem Dedeoğlu Mehmet Bey from the same family.
Çarpanak Church (Çapanak Island – Center): You can reach to the island, which is at north east of Van Lake, around Çitoren Cove, with an hour and 40 minutes motor voyage from Van central wharf. Collonial gate of Çarpanak Church, which is constructed durinbg the beginning of XII. Century, is adoned with geometrical panel and crucifix series, and protecting its beauty with its complete greatness as one of the places worth to see.
Celme Hatun Tomb (Gevaş): This mausoleum, which is in the Seljukian cemetery at the entrance of Gevaş province, is constructed during Karakoyunlular period on 1358 in the memory of İzzettin Şir’s daughter, Celme Hatun. It holds the signs of Seljukian Tomb Architecture. There are prismatic tombs and graves in this cemetery, which is approximately used from the beginning of XIV. Century to the end of XVI. century. Seljukian cemetery and Celme Hatun mausoleum has just an “Open Air Museum” apperance.
Aliyar Tomb (Erciş): It is determined that the tomb, which is at south of entrance of Erciş Province Center, belongs to One of the Karakoyunlu Shahs, Aliyar Bey.
Akdamar Church (Akdamar Island – Gevaş): It is 55 kmaway from Van, and after 20 minutes of motor voyage from the wharf on Van -Tatvan road, you can reach to the church. It is constructed between 915 and 921 by Vasparakan Ruler, I. Gagig. The chruch’s, which is constructed with trefoil plan, yellowish cut stones composed mason is serving a magnificent masonry.
There are firsks on internal walls and relieves on external walls. On these relieves, stories, like Adam and Eve, Yunus Prophet and his son İsmail, David versus Goliath, are composed. Also there is a freeze composed of surrounding grape leaves and bunches as well as various animals subjected relieves on the upper part of the church.
BRIDGES AND WATER CHANNELS
The most famous bridges in Van are Bend-i Mahi Bridge, Kırmızı Bridge, Çatak Bridge, Hurkan Köprüsü, Zeril Bridge, and Şeytan Bridge
The first water channels and dams in van had been built by the Urinians between BC 9 and BC 6. The most important water channel in Van is Menua (Semiramis/Şamran) Water Channel. It had been founded by Urinian King Menua. This water channel is an unique example of engineering genius. It is still being used by the local people.
TIRADITIONAL VAN HOUSES
Van houses brings the examples of traditional Van architecture to our times. The Van Houses, Bazaars, streets, districts, thermal baths, and stone roads are all typical examples of this architecture.
The promenade areas in Van are Edremit, Gevaş, the Çatak forest that two streams unite, and Amik which is famous for its fruit gardens.
Provinces: Van Merkez
Surface Area : 9520
Altitude : 1803 m
Bird Species: It gains important bird areas status with kılıçgaga (50 pairs) and büyük cılıbıt. Important numbers of kara boyunlu batağan (max. 4430) and angıt (max. 5600) can be observed.
Main Characteristics: salt lake
City: Van, Bitlis
Provinces: Van Merkez, Edremit, Gevaş, Tatvan, Ahlat, Adilcevaz, Erçiş, Muradiye
Surface Area : 390.000
Bird Species: It gains important bird areas status due to Van Reed bed breeding yaz ördeği (5 pairs), Sodalıgöl’s (important bird areas status no. 94) just east present peninsula reproducing toy (during reproduction period max. 32 individual) as well as Ahtamar Island (80 pairs), Çarpanak Island (500 pairs) and probably other areas breeding Van Lake martısı (max. 3285 individual). Ak kanatlı sumru can be seen during immigration period.
Main Characteristics: salt lake, islands
Hunting Tourism Van is very famous for its game animals. It is possible to go hunting in all the seasons of the year. The main animals that are free to hunt are; partridge, duck, bustard bird, mountain goat, rabbit, bear, and wild boar. It is also possible to go fishing in the area.
Nature Walks Süphan Mountain
Height: 4058 m
Location: North of Lake Van in Eastern Anatolia, between Adilcevaz – Ercis and Patnos.
Best Time to Climb: Between June and September
Characteristics: Mt. Suphan, an inactive volcano, is the third highest peak in Turkey. Its peak is glacier-covered.
Transport: There is air, rail and road transport to Erzurum and/or Van. From there, go to Adilcevaz via of Ercis.
Climbing: The ascent up Mt. Suphan is generally made on the eastern face, with a marvellous view of Lake Van, and begins at the village of Aydinlar. Camp is set up at the Sekerpinari or Suphan plateau, 6-7 km from the village and up 2500 m. It takes 8-10 hours to climb up to the peak and come back to camp.
The climate of Van Lake is dominant in the area. the summers are rainy and hot, and the winters are rainy and quite cold. The spring and autumn times are warm and rainy.
Hurries are the first civilization settled in Van. After them the Urinian lived here for more than 200 years. Persians, Macedonians, Sasanians, Byzantinians, Seljuks, and Ottomans are only some of the civilizations governed here.
Where to Eat
Murtuğa (breakfast), cacık (breakfast), ilitme, ekşili, senseger, and Van grassy cheese are the most famous foods of the region. Especially the grassy cheese is very delicious and famous. Van Lake fish ( grey mullet) should be tasted by the visitors. The caviar of this fish is very famous for its taste.
What to Buy
The carpets of Van are very famous. Many kinds of handcraft, and ornament objects can be purchased from the Bazaars.
Don’t Leave Without
– Visiting the Van Castle, Van Museum, Hoşap Castle, Muradiye Waterfalls, Edremit and Gevaş shores and the Van Lake,
– Seeing the work famous Van cats having one eye yellow and one eye blue,
– Purchasing the world famous Van carpets and handcrafts
– Tasting the Van foods.
Registered Immobile Cultural and Natural Heritages in Van
Archaeological Sites: 28
rban Sites: –
Natural Sites: 5
Historical Sites: 1
Archaeological and Natural Sites: 3
Cultural (at Single Construction Scale) and Natural
Provincial Cultural Directorate
Tel: (432) 216 25 30
Fax: (432) 212 17 74
A Hall with 480 seating capacity for opera, ballet, plays, etc. Exhibition Hall Library 4 Art Workshops
Contact Address: Kültür Merkezi Müdürlüğü – Van
Tel: (432) 216 96 92
Fax: (432) 212 12 51
State Fine Arts Gallery Directorate
SSK Binası K.Karabekir Cad. No:51/C VAN
Tel: (0 432) 216 25 30
Fax: 212 17 34
Van Museum Address: Şerefiye Mah. Hacı Osman Sok. No: 9 – Van
Tel: (432) 216 11 39
Fax: (432) 214 25 10
Governorship : (+90-432) 216 11 28
Municipality : (+90-432) 216 73 40 – 216 73 44
Hospital : (+90-432) 216 47 40 – 216 47 44
Police : (+90-432) 217 46 20 – 217 46 23
Gendarme : (+90-432) 212 03 44
Provincial Directorate : (+90-432) 216 36 75
Van Governorship http://www.van.gov.tr/
Van Municipality http://www.van-bld.gov.tr/
OHAL Governorship http://www.ohal.gov.tr/