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Ardahan Kalesi

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Ardahan (Armenian: Արդահան, Ardahan; Georgian: არტაანი, Art’aani;) is a city in northeastern Turkey, near the Georgian border.

The first surviving record about this region is attributed to Strabo, who calls it Gogarene (Gugark) and mentions that it was a part of the Armenia, taken away from the Kingdom of Iberia. In the Middle Ages Ardahan served as an important transit point for goods arriving from the Abbasid Caliphate and departing to the regions around the Black Sea. During the 8th to 10th centuries the region was in hands of the Bagrationi princes of Tao-Klarjeti, and later part of Kingdom of Georgia between 11th to 15th centuries. According to the Arab historian Yahya of Antioch, the Byzantines razed Ardahan and slaughtered its population in 1021.[5] The Mongols took hold of the city in the 1230s but the Georgian princes of Samtskhe were able to recapture it in 1266. In 1555, by the Peace of Amasya, the western part of the principality of Samtskhe was annexed by the Ottoman Empire,[6] and Ardahan was included into the sanjak of Ardahan (an overall part of the vilayet of Akhaltsikhe).[7] The Ottomans constructed a substantial fortress at Ardahan. The Turkish traveler Evliya Çelebi visited Ardahan in the 1640s and gave the following description: "The fortress of Ardahan sits atop an inaccessible cliff. It is square-shaped and sturdy... This fortress has a cold climate and, because of this, there are no gardens or orchards. Fruits arrive from the fortress at Ajara and Tortum."[8]

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