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Sunday, May 19, 2024


Lake Van - the mystery of Turkey

Lake Van is perhaps one of the most underrated tourist destinations in Turkey and completely in vain. It is an amazing place that certainly deserves attention. Here are a few reasons why you should definitely visit Lake Van.

1. The healing properties of the water
Lake Van is the world's largest soda lake. As the name suggests, its water is incredibly rich in sodium carbonate. It’s great for washing clothes as well as bathing. And you don’t even need soap! The chemical composition of the water perfectly removes dirt, so the salt crystals are harvested from the ponds along the coast of the lake to make cleaning products.
The healing properties of Lake Van are in no way inferior to those of the Dead Sea. People come here to treat arthritis and rheumatism, as well as to improve various skin conditions.

2. Van Citadel
Van Citadel is a magnificent ancient fortress on the shore of Lake Van. It dates back to the 8th-7th centuries BC. At different times, it was owned by Armenians, Romans, Persians, Byzantines, and Turks.
History buffs will be interested in the cuneiform inscription written by the Persian king Xerxes I near the fortress in the 5th century BC. It is carved right into the rock 20 meters above the ground. Despite the numerous battles and destructions that these lands have endured, the inscription is perfectly preserved.
From Van Citadel you can also see the ruins of the city of Tushpa, the ancient capital of the kingdom of Urartu.

3. Lake Van Monster
Another attraction of Lake Van is its famous Lake Van monster. Just like the Scottish Nessie, for many years it has been haunting the minds of mystery lovers. Locals claim that the monster, a huge creature with a long neck, periodically sticks its head out of the water. Many scientists were interested in the Van monster at some point, however, its existence was never proven.
Whether they are true or not, the legends of the Lake Van monster are not modern inventions. Their origins go back to the Middle Ages. At the beginning of the 6th century, Movses Khorenatsi, the famous Armenian historian, claimed that vishaps, snake-like dragons, can be found in the lake.

4. Van cats
Cat lovers might be interested in the local rare breed, called Van Kedisi. These wayward animals are held in high esteem here. It’s impossible to take them out of the country unless you have a special permit. A unique research center has even been created at the University of Van named the House of the Van Cat.
So what is unique about this breed? First of all, it’s their spectacular appearance. A lush snow-white coat with reddish patterns on the tail and on the head is a distinctive feature of this breed. The eyes of the Van cats are blue or amber, although it often happens that the left and right eyes have different colors.
In addition to its appearance, the Van cat is distinguished by its unique personality. For instance, these cats do not shy away from water at all. On the contrary, they love to swim.