Kars Culture & Art Association


The address is an unpromising paint shop ('Yeni Akçay Kol. Şir.'). However, if you can find him in, the shop's owner is local historian Vedat Akçayöz who maintains a small library and museum about the Molokan ('milk-drinker') and Doukhobor ('spirit wrestler') spiritual Christian sects.

These peaceful Christian groups, who don't use icons or formal churches, were essentially driven into internal exile within the Russian empire during the 19th century and, after the Russo-Turkish War (1878), some Molokans settled in the Kars area (see www.molokane.org/places/Turkey). Vedat's own grandmother was Molokan, he speaks reasonable English and is also a published authority on the 'underground city' below the main monumental area at Ani.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kars attractions

1. Evliya Camii

0.25 MILES

With an especially attractive north facade, the 16th-century 'Mosque of Saints' was built to commemmorate the 11th-century saint Hasan-i Harakani who…

2. Revenue Office

0.28 MILES

A three-storey late 19th-century L-shaped building with a long, false-columned facade, this is one of the more impressive pieces of Kars' 'Baltic…

3. Old Governor's Mansion

0.28 MILES

Facing a pretty little garden surrounded by further century-old buildings, this proud 1883 mansion was where the 1921 Treaty of Kars was signed, settling…

4. Gazi Ahmet Muhtar Paşa Kultur Evi

0.29 MILES

One of Kars' most attractive old homes hosts a beautifully presented but all-in-Turkish introduction to Gazi Ahmet Muhtar Paşa, a flamboyantly…

5. Health Directorate Building


On this 1907 building, thick paint somewhat mars the facade of floral motifs and mock columns built in typical Kars' Baltic (ie northern Russian) style.

6. Kümbet Camii


Below Kars Castle, the imposing, basalt Kümbet Camii was built as a church between 932 and 937 when Kars was (briefly) capital of the Bagratuni kingdom of…

7. Ulu Camii

0.31 MILES

For a great vantage point to soak up the main sights of historic Kars in a single visual sweep, it's hard to beat the forecourt of this 17th-century…

8. Beylerbeyi Sarayı

0.36 MILES

In 1579, Sultan Murad III's regional governor (Lala Mustafa Paşa) built an imposing palace on the southern foreslopes of Kars Castle crag. The structure…