The New Student's Reference Work/Van
Van, a fortified town and province of Turkey in Asia, stands near the southeast shore of Lake Van, 140 miles from Erzrum. It is overlooked by a citadel now much dilapidated, but which from its lofty height could easily be rendered almost impregnable. The principal public buildings, in addition to the citadel, are the mosques, the Armenian churches, the caravansaries and the bazaars. Van contains numerous ancient ruins, and cuneal inscriptions are found in which the name of Xerxes frequently occurs. Population 30,000, Lake Van is an inland sea, 80 miles in length and 50 miles in extreme breadth. It is fed by about eight streams, and has no visible outlet. Its waters are salt, and the only fish caught are a kind of sardines, which are salted and exported throughout Asia Minor.