Kars is located in Eastern Anatolian Region. It has around 130.000 population. The city’s history starts in the Paleolithic age. The recorded history of the city starts with Urartus. Later on, Kars was ruled by Persians, Sassanians, Arabs, Bagrats(Armenian Kingdom), Byzantines, Seljuks, and Ottomans. Kars has numerous ancient settlements for being located at the entrance point to Anatolia from the Caucasus. Kars is famous for its history and nature.
Here is a list of historical and modern destinations of Kars;
Where to see?
- Sarıkamış Ski Resort: The resort is located 55km far from the city center. It’s covered by pines. It has a 12 km long path with 5 stages. The Cıbıltepe(Hill) is famous for skiers for being covered by crystal snow. There are several accommodation facilities in the resort.
- Katerina Av Köşkü(Pavilion): The pavilion is located in Sarıkamış county. It was built by the command of the Tsar of Russia, Nikola II. in 1896. The pavilion has the style of a Baltic architect. The pavilion was used by the military until 1994. Nowadays, it’s a protected destination.
- Ani Archeological Site: The ancient city is located in Ocaklı town. The city has 8 meters high walls for 4.500 meters long. There are seven entrances to the city. The city was founded over the rocks on Arpa Çay and Alacasu Valleys. At the highest point, there is a castle where Urartus first settled. The city was located over the Silk Road. The city was used for safety and water facilities for ages. Also, there are Roman/Byzantian churches and Seljuk/Ottoman mosques located in the city.
- Selçuklu Sarayı(Seljukian Palace): The Seljukian Palace has located on sharp rocks the northwest of Ani Archeological Site. It was built after the conquest of Seljukians in 1064. It was built as two-floored. Unfortunately, the first floor is not standing today because it was built from wood.
- Tigran Honents Kilisesi(Church): The church is located the northeast of Ani Archeological Site. It was built by an Anian merchant Tigran Hornets. The church is famous for its frescos. There are frescoes of Jesus’ life from born to death on the interior walls.
- Büyük Katedral(Cathedral): The cathedral is located in the Ani Archeological Site. According to historians, the building of the cathedral was started by Bagration King Sembat II. in 990 AD. After his death, the building was ended by his wife Katranide in 1001. The church is an example of an 11th-century church architect. Cathedral was changed to a mosque after the conquest of Sultan Alparslan. That’s why it’s also called Fethiye Camii(Mosque).
- Taş Köprü(Stone Bridge): The bridge is located in the city center. It was built by Lala Mustafa Pasha under the command of Sultan Murat III. The bridge was built with three cradle vaults. Later it was rebuilt in 1725.
- Kars Museum: The modern museum building was opened in 1981 at the city center. There are archeological, Ethnographic and stone findings exhibited in the museum. Museum has 2 exhibition halls.
The other important destinations of Kars are Kuyucuk Kuş Cenneti(Bird Sanctuary), Ski resorts, Plateaus and Tablelands, Castles, Baths, Churches and Mosques.
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