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 Armenia. The church was converted to a mosque in 1064, when the Seljuks conquered Kars, then used as a church again in the 19th century by the Russians, who added the porches. Naive reliefs of the 12 apostles still adorn the upper drum tower beneath the conical dome.

As a young man, before developing his own very distinctive spiritual path, George Gurdjieff sang in the church choir here and was said to have been deeply influenced by his conversations with the then priest, Damian Borsh.

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Nearby Kars attractions

1. Evliya Camii

0.05 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. Ulu Camii

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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…

3. Beylerbeyi Sarayı

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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…

4. Mazlum Ağa Hamam

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Pushkin is known to have bathed at this rectangular 18th-century basalt hamam in 1829, which stands near the river below Kars Castle. These days you'll…

5. Taş Köprü

0.15 MILES

This attractive basalt bridge that spans the Kars River, below the castle, was built in 1719 replacing a 16th-century original that had been destroyed by…

6. Kars Castle

0.17 MILES

Dating from at least 1153, Kars Castle' s hefty, dark-stone walls crown the craggy ridge that dominates the city-centre's northern edge, fronted by a…

7. 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…

8. Health Directorate Building

0.31 MILES

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.