The ca. 3000 year old city of Van is located in the region of East Anatolia on the eastern shore of Lake Van near the Iranian-Turkish border.
Since the 9th century BC Van was the capital of the Urartian Empire.
After its decline in the 6th century BC it was taken over by the Armenians.
In the Middle Ages control over Van changed several times between the Seljuks, Ayyubids, Mongols, Safavids and finally the Ottomans.
The urartian fortress, the today's Van Kalesi, situated on a 100m high rock, was mentioned for the first time 858 BC.