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Hoşap Kalesi

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Hoşap Kalesi (Hosap Castle) perches like an eagle's nest on the top of a hill at about 59 km from Van on the Van-Başkale Highway. The castle was constructed in 1643 by a Kurdish warlord Sarı Süleyman, a prınce of the Mahmudi tribe in the village of Hoşap (Güzelsu in Turkish), meaning Good or Beautiful Water. The present structure was built on top of an ancient Urartian fortress at a strategic point on the ancient road that passed through the region. Huge blocks of stone from the original Urartian fortress can be seen in the foundation on the northern and northeastern sides.

Entrance to the castle is provided by a gate which is decorated with murals showing islamic and ancient oriental symbols. Inside the castle are two mosques, three baths, an underground dungeon, and a number of fountains. A huge mud-brick wall surrounds the eastern, western and northern sides of the castle and the old town.

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