On my way to the castle I passed the Kimbetli Camii, which now is a mosque but was built in 939 as a church. It looks like a typical Armenian church, and as a church it was called Church of the apostles. Around the drum there are stone reliefs of the twelve apostles.
Fethiye Mosque does not look like an ordinary mosque, but it is because it used to be a Russian Orthodox Church.
The Russians captured Kars in 1878 and held it until 1920.
From the castle, standing on a hill above the city, you will have a great view over Kars and beyond. You can not walk up to the absolute top of the tower but the view is fine anyway. In the big grass covered courtyard there is a tomb and a mosque.
There has been a fortress on the hill since Urartian period, but it has been rebuilt many times, last time 1855.
There is no entrance fee to the castle.
Ani is a most important touristical attraction of Kars. But a few people can know this place even Turks.
Anyway, one of the reasons is transportation.
There are just three way to go.
1- Village minibuses:
This not a good idea. These minibuses run once in a day. At noon Kars to Ocaklý (nearest village to Ani) But return daparture is next day's morning. But there is no place to stay at night
2- Taxi (if it is possible sharing taxi)
Second way is taxi. Distant between Kars to Ani ruins takes nearly 50 km. Going, returning and two or three hours waitins costs 100 TL. (App. 40 euro) But you must bargain.
i recommend this taxi driver. He was so helpful
05355172746 Zeki Okumus
3- rent a car :(
After arriving in Kars I looked for the Tourist Office as I had read it was one of the places that had to be visited to get the permit for Ani. It wasn’t there anymore and I asked around. Someone told me no permit was needed, I think, but he did not speak English so I was not sure. As I was walking around a man in a car stopped and he spoke English, and he explained that no permit is needed now days for visiting Ani and the tickets were now to be bought by the entrance. He often drove tourists to Ani, but could not do so the coming day, but his brother in law (who did not speak English) could drive me for 50 000 000 TL.
I was going in the afternoon the day after and we were both going to look for other tourists that I could share the price with. I didn’t see any.
From Kars it is about 45 km to Ani. The road goes through open landscape with fields and hills. It was beautiful with flowers in the beginning of July.
Ani is covering a big area and you should spend at least two hours there, and tell the driver that beforehand.
I bought a ticket to Igdir at the minibus terminal on Kücük Kazim Bey Caddesi the day before departure. I was told to come half an hour before departure. After waiting for a long time, more than half an hour, a local bus came and took all waiting persons to the main bus station. From there a small bus left for Igdir. The journey took 2,5 hours and cost
10 000 000 TL. In Igdir the bus from Kars does not stop where the minibus for Dogubayazit leave, but you have to walk a few hundred metres. The minibus takes about 45 minutes to go between Igdir and Dogubayazit and it cost 3 000 000 TL.
In Dogubayazit the minibus stops in the centre of town, where Agri Caddesi meets Dr Ismail Besikci Caddesi.