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Coordinate: 38º29’39.00’’K 43º22’48.00’’D Height: 1709 m

The first known king of Urartu Kingdom, founded in the 9th century B.C., was Aramu who lived in Arzaskun. Sanduri I (840-830 B.C.) who was given the throne after him moved the capital to Tushpa. Tuhspa (Van Castle), Cavustepe and Toprakkale were the important settlements of the region during Urartu Kingdom.


Urartians adapted to the difficult conditions of the country, and made successful works on public works. Many structures such as castles, dams, canals and roads reached today. 56 km long Minua Canal (Samran Canal), built by King Minua, and is still used.

Tushpa (Van Castle), capital of Urartu, is located in the east of the Lake Van. It is 5 km away from the city center. Sarduri I was built the castle in 9th century B.C. There are inscriptions about building two bastions in this period. Palace, temple and King Graves were located in the castle. Palace and temples were built in the interior castle which was in the highest point. There are not much remains of the interior castle reached today. There was open air temple which was built by Sarduri II in the northwest slopes of the castle.

The most impressive ruins of the castle are king tombs carved into the rocks. These tombs consist of a hall and rooms around it. While repairing  this castle which was used during Seljuk and Ottoman periods stones of Urartian structures were used. On the plains in the south of the Van Castle, there are remains of old Van city.

There are hidden natural wonders and Baskale Travertines in Van, which welcomes tourists with its historical and natural beauties.

There are many tunnels and caves in the same area as the fairy chimneys in Yavuzlar district of Baskale district. The fairy chimneys produced by the erosion of rocks, rain water and wind sprayed by volcanic Yigit Mountain in Yavuzlar district which 33 kilometers away from Van Baskale, does not resemble Cappadocia in Ürgüp district of Nevşehir. The fairy chimneys in Baskale looks like Cappadocia.

Van Cats with their long and white hair, one eye yellow and the other green can be considered as famous things of Van.

Must-see places

Van Castle, Lake Van, Castle Hosap, Van Museum

Do Not Return Without Doing

Food: Herby Cheese, Van Fish (Pearl Mullet), İlitme, Senseger.

Shopping: Van carpets and rugs.

Trip: Akdamar Island , Ahlat, Edremit, Gevaş, Baskale, Amik.

Van’s famous: Color-eyed Van Cat.