Kars

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Kars was firstly mentioned in the IX century though it was founded earlier and served as a capital city of the Nakharas’ home Vanand. Bagratuni home managed to seize power from the hands of the rebel government, including capital Kars. After the death of Ashot Erkat (914-928) king Abas (928-953), who was the ruler of Kars, decided not to move to Shirakavan and stay in Kars. Thus Kars became the capital. The royal chambers and other structures were built in the center of the fortress. On the riverside of Kars was also built the Cathedral of St. Arakelots. When king Ashot Voghormats (953-977) moved capital to Ani, his brother Mushegh Bagratuni proclaimed himself as king of Kars. In 1053 the army of Togrul-bek conquered Kars. Though the Kars kingdom managed to preserve its independence for some time later it was handed down. In 1065, in the period of Turks' invasions the urban life, handicraft and trade fell into decay. Kars used to be the largest trade center with actively developing of art and handicrafts. The city had a powerful fortress, which was destroyed in 1877-78 during the Russian-Turkish war. In 1828 Kars was conquered by the Russian army, but in 1921 it was handed over to Turkey.



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