Ardahan, a Fortress of the Kingdom of Van

Ardahan, a Fortress of the Kingdom of VanLocal residents (Turks and Kurds) call the Ardahan (Արդահան) fortress “Shaitan Kale” or “Castle of the Devil”. The exact name and date of its construction are unknown. A clue to it could be the traces of ancient settlements around the castle which, like the fortress, have architectural features of the Kingdom of Van’s architectonics.

Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to find additional information about this fortress and the settlement that was nearby. Approximately after the 9th century, the city was “moved” to a wide plane at the foot of the mountains,

In the 9th-10th centuries, the fortress was located on the trade route between the Arab caliphates and the states of the Black Sea region. In the 11th century, the fortress of Ardahan was conquered by Georgians. In 1236, it was claimed by Tatar-Mongols. Eventually in the 14th century, during the rule of Suleiman I, the Ardahan district was passed to Turkey.

In 1828, Russian troops liberated the fortress from the Turks, and the region became a part of the Russian Empire. In 1920, after the Armenian Genocide, the region was again captured by the Turks, and the Armenian population was forced to move to Eastern Armenia and Georgia.

Unfortunately, only a Turkish map of the region was found. But it has some interesting and known names in the surroundings of the Ardahan district – Erzerum (the ancient Armenian city of Karin – Կարին), Kars, Ardvin (Արդվին).


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