Historically, Gevaş was for some time the main town of the Armenian kingdom of Vaspurakan and later between the 14th and 15th centuries the centre of a small Kurdish emirate. In their time the settlement had moved nearer to the lake. Later the town was incorporated in the Ottoman Empire. Before World War I the district had a Muslim majority with a large Christian Armenian minority.
Main sights include: some surviving ruins of the castle, the monumental tomb known as Halime Hatun Kümbeti, build in 1358, verily likely for the daughter of a local emir. A mosque build before 1446 (restoration in that year) and the tomb of Sheikh Ibrahim, father of Halime Hatun. The ruins of an Armenian church in Ili, probably built after 941 and an Armenian Church/monastery on Kusadasi island west of Akdamar Island.
The pointed roof tomb of Halime Hatun, build in 1358.