The Fortress of Van, a massive stone fortification period of the Kingdom of Van

The Fortress of Van (Armenian: Վանի Բերդ, also known as Van Citadel) is a massive stone fortification built by the ancient Kingdom of Van (Urartu) during the 9th to 7th centuries BC and is the largest example of its kind.

It overlooks the ruins of Tushpa the ancient Urartian capital during the 9th century, centered upon the steep-sided bluff where the fortress now sits.

Several similar fortifications were built throughout the Kingdom of Van, usually cut into hillsides and outcrops in places where modern-day Armenia, Turkey, and Iran meet.

Successive groups such as the Medes, Achaemenids, Armenians, Parthians, Romans, Sassanid Persians, Byzantines, Arabs, Seljuks, Safavids, Afsharids, Ottomans and Russians each controlled the fortress at one time or another.

The ancient fortress is located just west of Van and east of Lake Van in the Van Province of Turkey.

Nouné Yeranosian

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