A Gateway on the Silk Road

Kars, the Historic Crossroads

Kars, a city with roots tracing back to the Bulgarian Turks of the “Valatur” tribe, holds a distinct significance in Turkey’s history. Established around 130 – 127 BC by settlers from Dagistan, north of the Caucasian Mountains, Kars derives its name from the subdivision “Karsak.” Positioned along the Silk Road, Kars maintained its importance for centuries.

ANI ANTIQUE CITY A Treasure Trove of History

Ani Where Cultures Converge

Founded by Karsak Turks along the Arpagay River, Ani stands as a testament to cultural convergence between Turkey and Armenia. This ancient city boasts 10 churches, 1 bridge, 3 ruins, and numerous building foundations. In 1064, Seljuk Sultan Alparslan contributed significantly, constructing a palace, caravanserai, mosques, and Turkish baths. The lion relief at Ani Ruins’ main entrance symbolizes Seljuk triumph in 1064.<



Architectural Marvel of 1153

Constructed in 1153 by the Vizier of Saltuk Sultan Malik Izzeddin Salduk Firuz Akay, Kars Castle stands proudly on a steep rocky hill to the north of Kars. The castle, encompassed by 250-meter-high walls featuring three entrance doors, once housed a church that met its demise in 1386 under Timur’s rule. After restoration during the Ottoman Empire, the castle witnessed a period of Russian reign for 40 years following the Ottoman-Russian war. Offering a panoramic view of modern Kars, the castle is a testament to the city’s rich history.

APOSTLES CHURCH From Worship to Heritage

Bagratli King Abbas’s Legacy

Built to prominence by Bagratli King Abbas between 932 – 937 AD, the Apostles Church played a crucial role in making Kars the capital city Read More about KARS. Initially serving as a church, it underwent transformation into a mosque by Seljuks in 1064. Over the years, it alter

Decoding Tombstone Symbols


Insights into Professions and Stories

Exploring Artistic Narratives on Tombstones

Nautical and Military Tributes

Discovering the profession of the deceased is often possible through elements on tombstones. Tombstones for fleet commanders, for instance, frequently take the form of a broken sail mast, symbolizing the loss of a sailor. Some tombstones feature reliefs of artillery cannons and cannonballs, indicating a military background. Even medals are engraved on certain tombstones Read More about KARS CASTLE. An intriguing example is a prince’s tombstone with a rope engraving on the neck portion, suggesting a tragic end by strangulation.

Bridal Veils and Broken Rose Buds Artistic Elegance

Tombstones also showcase artistic details, such as one at the Süleymaniye Mosque, planted in the grave of a girl who died at the age of marriage. A column-like tombstone with an engraved bridal veil resembling a real veil a





Discovering Brusa