Main Attractions in Bitlis

Bitlis has several tourist attractions in and around the city, which you can explore during your stay.

Tatvan, the small port on Lake Van is a beautiful spot that is 25 km North-east of Bitlis. 44 km North of Tatvan lies the ruins of Ahlat, which is a must-visit for history lovers. Ahlat used to be a chiefly important center of Turkish art and Culture. In the 12th century, it was the capital of the Turkish state that reigned the Van basin. Across the centuries, several civilizations came and settled here and all of them have left their marks in the forms of mausoleums, tombstones, monuments, etc. some of the famous structures include the Ulu Mosque (12th century), the Gokmeydani Mosque (Seljuk), the Serefhan Medrese and the Bayindir Kumbet. Seljuk cemeteries also bear the art form in the shape of inscribed monumental tombs (12th century).

Another place of historical importance is the ancient Urartian city of Adilcevaz (25 km north of Ahlat), which houses some significant remains of the past. The famous Kef castle from the Seljuk period lies on the 10km west of Adilcevaz. The Urartian temple of Haldi that dates back to the 9th century B.C is also worth visiting.

One of the major historical attractions found inside the city of Bitlis is the Byzantine castle that dominates the city with its polygonal tower. Other places of interest include the mosques and vaults, theological schools, inns and caravanseries, baths, etc. If you want to explore the nature's treasures, come to Nemrut dagi (Mount Nemrut). This is a dormant volcano with a deep, clear and cold crater lake at the center, which bubbles with volcanic hot springs. There are also many fine beaches in Bitlis.
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