Kars (Armenian: Ղարս, Kurdish: Qers) is a city in northeast Turkey.

As a city at the juncture of Caucasian, Russian, and Turkish cultures, the buildings of Kars come in a variety of architectures. Kars Castle (Kars Kalesi) also known as the Kars citadel) sits atop a rocky hill overlooking Kars. Its walls date back to the Bagratid Armenian period (there is surviving masonry on the north side of the castle) but it probably took on its present form during the 13th century when Kars was ruled by the Zakarid dynasty. The walls bear crosses in several places, including a khachkar with a building inscription in Armenian on the easternmost tower, so the much repeated mantra that Kars kastle was built by Ottoman Sultan Murad III during the war with Persia, at the close of the 16th century is false. However, Sultan Murad probably did reconstruct much of the city walls (they are similar to those that the Ottoman army constructed at Ardahan). At the foot of the plateau is St. Arak'elos Cathedral, or the Church of the Apostles. Built in the 10th century, it constitutes a domed tetraconch atop a square base with four apses. The drum of the dome features bas relief depictions of The Twelve Apostles and the dome itself is covered by a conical roof. It housed a small museum in the 1960s and 1970s, then stood derelict for about two decades until its conversion into a mosque in 1998.

Cities and Regions


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