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Dogubeyazit: sunrise at Mount Ararat

The town of Doğubeyazit (pronounced DOHUBEYAZIT) also spelled Doğubayazit lies 15 km from Mount Ararat (Ağrı Dağ) and 35 km from the Iranian border. Although Doğubayazit itself is a charmless border town, it surroundings are spectacular. Sightseeing highlights are the breathtaking twin vulcanoes of Mount Ararat with its 5135 m the largest mountain of Turkey, the palace of Ishak Pasha, the Ark of Noah, the vulcanic hot springs of Diyadin, the meteor crater, and on top of all that the typical setting of a border town in the Middle East.

The palace of Ishak Pasha, lying at 6 km southeast of Doğubeyazit, is the most important historical monument of the region and one of the highlights of a visit to Turkey. It is a superb mixture of every architectural style extant in Turkey: Seljuk, Ottoman, Armenian, Georgian, and Persian influences are all clearly present. Construction of the fortress-palace was started in 1685 by Colak Abdi Pasha (Çolak Abdı Paşa), the bey of Beyazit province and completed by his grandson Ishak (Isaac) Pasha in 1784. The gold-plated doors, masterpieces of Kurdish craftsmanship, were removed by Russian troops at their retreat from Anatolia in 1917 and are now on display in St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum.

Dogubayazit Photo Album: Ishak Pasha Palace in front of a large plain and Mount Ararat

Across the valley are a mosque and the ruins of an ancient Urartian fortress (13th to 7th century BC). In the neighbourhood of İshak Pasha Sarayı there are also the ruins of Eski Beyazit (old Beyazit) which was deserted during the 1930's and some typical Kurdish farm houses. A drive through some rather rough terrain leads to the place where some people claim to have found Noah's (Nuh) ark. In June, spring has just begun here and an occasional thunderstorm can happen, but it is also an oppurtunity to take some great pictures. At Diyadin Hot Springs the volcanic landscape is of prehistoric greatness. A relaxing bath in the hot springs makes it a perfect day.

Doğubayazit does not have an official tourism agency. However,in 2002 we were lucky to find the best of tourist guides: Paraşüt (Parachute, Tel. +(90) 472 312 19 00, Mobile +(90) 543 44 01 836, Fax +(90) 472 312 69 10, e-mail: Parasut_2001@hotmail.com, Ağrı Cad. No. 130 kat. 2D Bayazit/ Ağrı 04400). He was truly a superb guide for Doğubayazit and surroundings. He also organizes expeditions and trekkking tours on Mount Ararat. He's also a master in organizing parties.

I visited Doğubeyazit in 1992, 1997, and 2002. In 2002 we stayed at Hotel Nuh (Tel.: +(90) 472 312 72 32, e-mail: hotelnuh@hotmail.com, Büyük Ağrı Cad. No. 65) 

Here are the photos of Dogubeyazit, click on the thumbnails to see greater pictures

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