Hoşap Castle

Coordinates: 38°19′02″N 43°48′06″E / 38.31722°N 43.80167°E / 38.31722; 43.80167
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Hoşap Castle
Hoşap Kalesi
Hoşab, Gürpınar District, Van, Turkey
Castle of Hoşab
Hoşap Castle is located in Turkey
Hoşap Castle
Hoşap Castle
Coordinates38°19′02″N 43°48′06″E / 38.31722°N 43.80167°E / 38.31722; 43.80167
Site information
Controlled byMinistry of Culture and Tourism
Open to
the public
Site history
Built bySarı Süleyman Bey

Hoşap Castle (Turkish: Hoşap kalesi, Kurdish: Kela Xoşebê, Armenian: Խոշաբ բերդ, romanizedKhoshab Berd) is a large 17th century castle located in the village of Hoşab, Gürpınar District, Van, Turkey. It is at a distance of approximately 50 km to the city center of Van.


The castle was built upon the foundations of a medieval Armenian fortress, preceded by an Urartian stronghold, with the eastern stretches and towers preserving the layout of the original Armenian structure.[2][3] The Armenian structure had only two walls, one located near the keep and one at the present-day intermediate walls. Most of the surviving masonry, including the entrance tower and outer walls, was built or rebuilt in 1649 by Sarı Süleyman Bey, chief of the Kurdish Mahmudi tribe.[4] The Mahmudi tribe which occupied the fortress of Hoşap were originally of Yezidi origin and migrated to the region from the Jazira Region.[5] Hoşap means "fresh water" in Persian.[6] The fortress received its name from the river of the same name. It was mentioned by 13th century Arab chronicler Yakut by the name Khavshab in the Ashevatsyats province of Vaspurakan.[7][8]

The former town of Hoşap lay on the flat ground north of the castle rock and in the enclosed space on the opposite side of the castle from the road; the present village extends into this space. The town was defended at one corner by the castle and elsewhere by a wall, which originally started from the ends of the castle’s two cliffs. Built of mud, and toothed with the remains of mud battlements, the wall of the early Ottoman period can still be seen in stretches.

On the north of the former town it now starts from a point beyond but the line of the cliff, near the Van road and extends along a natural ridge eastwards. From the castle’s southerly cliff the wall crosses the low saddle to the north-east. The two walls meet at the summit of the next hill, in order to keep control of all the land commanding the town. Beyond this hill’s summit stretches a seemingly empty expanse of low, spreading hills. Until the 1850s, the fortress-city of Khoshab had about 1,500 families, including 1,000 Armenians.[7] The Armenians of Khoshab were engaged in agriculture, crafts, and trade and had two churches within the fortress that were destroyed upon their expulsion, while the Kurds were mostly engaged in animal husbandry.[7][8] Until 1847, semi-independent Kurdish beys also resided there, but in the same year the Ottoman government, occupying the fortress, abolished their semi-independent rule.[7]

Further reading[edit]

  • Castle Sevgen, AK.I.137-46; Goodwin 188. Hist.: Evliya, Üçdaş ed., IV.1297-8; Arakel of Tabriz, tr. Brosset, 502, 510-14.
  • Hovhannesean, Castles 304-6 (17th & 18th century); Jaubert, Voyage 362-3; Layard, Nineveh and Babylon 385, 386-7 (desc.).
  • Berkian, Thesis 159-61. Bridge. Çulpan, Taş Köprüler 175-6; Goodwin 188 & fıg. 181. (Thesis on munumentsmentioned SanTarYıl 3(1969–70), 270).



  1. ^ Bloom & Blair 2009, p. 525.
  2. ^ Sinclair 1987, p. 215.
  3. ^ Baumer 2021, p. 90.
  4. ^ Sinclair 1987, p. 214-215.
  5. ^ Guest 2012, p. 45.
  6. ^ Nişanyan 2020, p. Hoşap.
  7. ^ a b c d Ambartsumian 1979, p. 72.
  8. ^ a b Hakobyan, Melik-Bakhshyan & Barseghyan 1988, p. 771.


  • Ambartsumian, Viktor, ed. (1979). "ԽՈՇԱԲ [Khoshab]". Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia (in Armenian). Vol. 5. Yerevan: Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR. p. 72. OCLC 22420067.
  • Baumer, Christoph (2021). "Urartu/Bianili - The First Caucasian State". History of the Caucasus: Volume 1: At the Crossroads of Empires. Vol. 1. United Kingdom: I.B. Tauris. ISBN 9780755636303.
  • Bloom, Johnathan M.; Blair, Sheila S., eds. (2009). "Military architecture and fortification". The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195373042.
  • Guest, John S. (2012). Survival Among The Kurds: A History of the Yezidis. United Kingdom: Routledge. ISBN 9781136157295.
  • Hakobyan, Tadevos Kh.; Melik-Bakhshyan, Stepan T.; Barseghyan, Hovhannes Kh. (1988). "Խոշաբ [Xošab]". Հայաստանի և հարակից շրջանների տեղանունների բառարան [Dictionary of Toponyms of Armenia and Adjacent Territories] (in Armenian). Vol. 2. Yerevan State University Press. p. 771. OCLC 247335945.
  • Nişanyan, Sevan (2020). "Türkiye Yer Adlari Sözlügü". nisanyanyeradlari (in Turkish). Liberus Yayinlari. p. Hoşap. Retrieved 2023-10-03. ISBN 9786050699999
  • Sinclair, T.A (1987). "Hoşap". Eastern Turkey: An Architectural and Archeological Survey. Vol. 1. London: The Pindar Press. pp. 212–215. ISBN 9780907132325.

External links[edit]