Near the Armenian border, this Turkish city was a part of the Armenian Kingdom during antiquity. It is now an important military town. Kars is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ani, which was the Bagratid capital in the 10th Century. Kars was captured in the 11th Century by the Seljuk Turks and then taken by the Mongols in the 13th Century. It became a part of the Ottoman Empire in 1514. The city successfully held back the Iranians and the Russians before eventually falling to the Russians in 1828. It was returned to Turkey in 1918. The Soviet Union attempted to reclaim Kars as a part of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic in the 1940s and failed.
Kars is famous for its cheese and livestock. It has interesting architecture leftover from when it was a part of Russia and the Kars River runs down the city center. There is an ancient Seljuk bridge that connects the two sides of the city.
Famous Local Sites: Church of the Apostles, Kars Citadel, Seljuk Bridge, Ani, Lake Cildir, Archeology Museum
Must-Try Local Eats: Hangel, Kars Duck and Rice