Ayanis Castle, Lake Van, Historical Armenia

Ayanis Castle was built on a rocky hill close to Ağartı village whose old name was “Ayanis” and which is situated on the east bank of Lake Van.

It was constructed by Rusa II son of Argishti who ruled the Kingdom of Van (Urartu) between 685 and 653/650 BC.

The castle should have been built right after 673-72 BC according to the scriptures found on the monumental gate and temple front and also according to the dendrochronology results.

The castle whose altitude above sea level is 1866 m has a size of 100x 400 m and it was built as planned on the main rock.

The most important area of the Ayanis Castle is the temple area which houses the Haldi Temple.

The temple is dedicated to Haldi, the chief god, and god of war, so many military foundlings such as arrowheads, shields, and quivers were obtained from its area.

On the front side of the temple and the two sides of the corridor, on the 8 basaltic blocks, there is the longest temple inscription of the Kingdom of Van consisting of 88 lines.

by Merike Joosep

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