Van Travel Guide

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Frescoes

Frescoes

This beatiful church, the main sightseeing spot of the Van region, is located on Akdamar Island on the Van Lake in historical Armenian Vaspurakan province. Built in 915-921, the Church of Holy Cross and the royal palace were built here by the architect Manuel under the auspices of King Gagik Ardzrouni. In 1113, The Church of Holy Cross became residence of the Catholicos of Akadamar. 

The lake is unique of its kind,   made of soda water  when a river reaches its  shore the water changes to milky white color, like  a soap.  It is good for villagers to wash their clothes (free soap). Ferryboat runs between  Tatvan  to Van on the  lake. Van is famous of  its cats, called "Van Cat", all white and the eyes have two colors.

In the centre of Van one can find an astonishing modern and open minded atmosphere. There are shops with western standards as well as pizzerias and some luxury hotels. In the late afternoon the tea garden is frequented by young people and some middle aged women - dressed openly, having their tea with their girlfriends. For nightlife there is the "beyaz saray" (white house) with a roof restaurant and a oriental live show in the bar below. Its frequented by rather wealthy locals and drinks are quite cheap. All together this rather small town gives the impression of  "the last possibility to consume western life-style in a oriental way"  very close to the border of the sharia-ruled Iran.

Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: personel

Contributors

June 29, 2006 change by sezgin aytuna (2 points)

March 29, 2005 change by ezop

February 13, 2006 change by giorgio

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