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Lake Van (Turkish: Van Gölü; Armenian: Վանա լիճ; Kurdish: Gola Wanê) is the largest lake in Turkey.

The lake was the centre of the Armenian kingdom of Urartu from about 1000 BC, and the capital of Urartu, Tushpa, was on the shore of Lake Van (on the site of the medieval castle of Van, west of Van city).[2] Armenian gravestones near Lake Van. 1973. Armenian gravestones near Lake Van. 1973.

Along with Lake Sevan in today's Armenia and Lake Urmia in today's Iran, Van was one of the three great lakes of the Armenian Kingdom, referred to as the seas of Armenia. Along its shores and on several islands (Arter, Lim, Charpanak, etc.) the remains of Armenian churches and monasteries can be found. The best preserved is the tenth-century Church of the Holy Cross (Armenian Սուրբխաչ, Surb Chatsch, scientific transliteration Surb xač') located on Akdamar Island. It was built by king Gagik Artzruni between 915 and 921. Reliefs on the external walls represent Biblical stories such as Adam and Eve, Jonah and the whale, David and Goliath, etc.

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