Van Kalesi
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles252 reviews
Excellent
146
Very good
76
Average
25
Poor
4
Terrible
1

rose B
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Solo
Van is a very safe place the centre is busy and has many eating places and is good for shopping . The best thing for me was the Castle and museum one of the best I have ever seen. That applies to both.
Written 4 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

apictaker
Coffs Harbour, Australia70 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2022
This is a great vantage point to look over Van and surrounds. The castle (or fortress) is a large and interesting structure to explore and photograph. Sunrise or sunset would be nice to observe from the top.

One warning for travelers, there is a local pickpocket who will lead you off the set path and pick your pockets while 'helping' you climb up the hill. He will say the path is closed for construction. Check at the main gate before starting your climb to avoid this ruse.
Written 22 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

worldnomad_01
Los Angeles, CA1,597 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022
Interesting ruins and impressive walls built by the kingdom of Urartu during the 9th to 7th century BC. Somewhere on the southern slope of the mountain and near the castle, there's a very well preserved, trilingual, cuneiform inscription from the time of Xerxes the Great of Persia in the 5th century BC. Great views of the city from the top. A pleasant and interesting experience.
Written 20 November 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David D
1,212 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
The high hill rises from the plain and is topped by the remnants of later fortresses. It was once the capital of Urartu and known as Tushpa, but every civilisation that has held this place has had some level of fortification here. The top has many steep cliffs and few barricades so be careful and cautious, particularly if you have a fear of heights. The entrance is on the western edge of the site, but a lot of people hop the fence to get in, as the entrance is quite far from the museum.
Written 4 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Richard K
Memphis, TN1,444 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022 • Solo
Go to the museum first. It’s best to come to the castle by car or bus. If the big gate on the east side isn’t open, it’s 5 km, around the farms to the lake side entrance. There are very few signs to guide you. I had to ask a farmer for help. The climb to the top is strenuous and uneven. Wear good shoes. It’s sad to see how much trash is everywhere. The Turks can learn from the Greeks about how to care for historical sites. The view is nice. It’s very difficult to get to the Xerxes Epigraph. There are bees everywhere. If you are allergic, then don’t go!
Written 1 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vlad
Van, Türkiye3 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2022 • Couples
Everything was great except a guy who had presented himself as a museum employee. But he wasn’t. He was playing a role of guide. He was trying to get our bags in his hands under the reason of help. At the end of our hiking we found out that he has robbed us of 300 TL.
Written 15 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kamal S
Bolu, Türkiye218 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
July 2022 • Solo
I was there on August 2019. You can see a lot of people climbing this Castle from different angles which are very dangerous. I recommend traveling the normal path from the entrance. Although it is Stone paved road but it's a very steep and was exhausting for me. View of the lake and Van city was very beautiful from above especially close to sunset. BUT be careful when returning back if you passed the sunset time. You might see that the lights are not working at the night and going back turns to a problem in the dark. Normally there is lighting provided but due to a problem with a city municipality I think the lights were not working during my visit in the middle of August 2019. So be aware of this and have fun.
Written 9 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Evelyn
Istanbul, Türkiye103 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Couples
What an amazing place! Be prepared to do quite a bit of walking and enjoy a fantastic view from the top. If you walk along the top towards the lake end, you will come across part of the castle still standing where some of the roof is still intact. As we walked along the base of the hill which the castle sits on, we could appreciate the vastness of the castle and defensive walls.
Written 4 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Erhan Yildirim
Türkiye2,381 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020
13 and the 7th centuries BC between the center of the van ,nowadays, Turkey,Armenia, Georgia ,Nahcıvan Iran and reigned in the land of Iraq, that left hundreds of historical monuments ,forts,ports ,sacred cemeteries ,residential areas,water structures and inscriptions that sheds light on the history of the Urartians.. many written sources and archaeological finds base the origins of this ancient nation on the Hurrians. first information about the Urartians is given by Salmanasar I, who was Emperor during the Middle Assyrian Empire(BC 15-11 century). I salmanasar uses the following statements about Urartu in the inscription printed for the sacred temple destroyed by fire or earthquake;
" ... Priest/at the beginning of my spindle ("the throne")
as soon as I passed") the country of uruadri(urartian)revolted ("he became alienated from me and created hostility"). I've mobilized my army and headed for strong mountain forts I went on an expedition…”
as can be seen, the Assyrians call the urartians uruadri. classically, the history of Urartu is examined under 2 headings.1: principalities or little Kingdoms period 2: classical Urartian Empire period.. the period of small principalities lasted from the beginning of the 13th century BC to the middle of the 9th century. during their incursions into Mesopotamia, the Assyrians moved their precious mines to their country and used them for both trade and weapons production. the Assyrians called the rights that lived around the Euphrates and Tigris rivers as nairi and urartu. The period of the first principalities of the urartians is the period when these two different groups were formed. About 60 small principalities controlled the Euphrates and the Tigris. In 2000 BC ,both for climatic reasons and for security reasons ,the principalities of hurri origin living in Anatolia left the plains and valleys and settled in the high plateaus and plateaus, where water resources were abundant and easier to defend. during the principalities, the Urartians and nairis could not unite against the Assyrians, who were common enemies due to geographical conditions. increasing Assyrian destruction and looting forced the small Urartian principalities to unite .because of the mines in their region, the principalities, which were rich, easily united against the common enemy(BC 10 century). Assyrian sources say that the first king of Urartu was aramu. "Ur-artu"
the word equivalent means" Upper Country, High Country". The city of "Ur" in Mesopotamia is also "upper, high" in the Sumerian language" it was defined in its meaning.
the people who lived in the area were called "Urartu" by the Assyrians. But The Urartians called themselves" Biaini". This word is among the people "Bian" and sometimes "Vian" create the current word " Van " with pronunciations in the form. the rule of the Urartians, which lasted about 300 years, was constantly passed by the struggle with the Assyrians.it must be fate that 2 great empires and civilizations were destroyed by the Medes,Scythians and babbils at very short intervals. the most detailed information about Urartu is the inscriptions and tablets describing the expeditions and wars of the Assyrian kings to the region. the Assyrians organized and damaged many expeditions to the Urartu, which they considered their greatest rival, especially during the periods of Salmanasar III and Sargon II. the Urartians did not submit to the Assyrians due to both geographical superiority and climate runs.the Urartians sought constant alliances against the Assyrians.these often gave results. melid,gurgum and kummuh kingdoms, one of the late Hittite States established around the Euphrates River, were kingdoms in which the Urartu received periodic assistance. the Assyrians often punished these small kingdoms who helped the Urartu and received high tribute. 2 after these wars, which weakened them, the great empires shared the same fate and were erased from history by the Medes, Scythians ,and Babylonians. Urartians used Assyrian cuneiform in their inscriptions. today, many artifacts found during archaeological excavations, especially in the last 2 centuries, are displayed in different museums around the world.but especially in and around the city of van(capital called tusba) ,many castles ,ports,residential areas belonging to the Urartu can be seen tombs,water cannons,artificial lakes, dams. Urartians, who had a belief system of about 17 goddesses and 50 gods, were buried in their traditions of cremation and not cremation. The chief god Haldi is the national god of Urartu. Kings begin with his name in steles, rock monuments and building inscriptions. Second and third places are Teişeba and Şivini, the gods of Hurri origin, which are accepted in a wide geography. One of the most important inscriptions that we have learned about the Urartian religion and religious practices is the Meher Kapı inscription in the city center of Van. One of the most important inscriptions that we have learned about the Urartian religion and religious practices is the Meher Kapı inscription in the city center of Van.
the main works that can be seen in the city of van(tusba), which is the capital of the Urartu, are as follows.
Van castle,Ayanis castle,Cavustepe castle, Lower and Upper Anzaf Castles,yoncatepe castle, King's rock tombs built into these castles, Little Horhor's Tomb, Arsenal's Tomb, Dilkaya, Ernis-Evditepe, Adilcevaz, Yoncatepe, Van / Altıntepe catacombs.. Urartians' water structures that are still in use today are masterpieces of architecture and intelligence. One of the most important of these is the menua canal, which is used to bring water to the tusba, which is about 50 km long. The canal, which was built 2800 years ago, is still in use. The Kesisgöl Dam, built 20 kilometers east of the van province, is one of the most important water structures. The artifacts and archaeological findings, which are not known today, but the unearthed artifacts and archaeological findings, show that urartians are very adept in metalworking and ornamental jewelry. The most important reason for this is their proximity to natural mineral deposits and the fact that part of their lives have been spent with mines.
Written 21 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Edin Krnic
Tuzi, Montenegro3,668 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020 • Solo
Van castle is located about 3 km from center of Van city. Very easy to go there with taxi 30 Kira or dolmush 2.5 Turkish lira.
Written 15 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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