It is said that name of Kars originated from Karsak Turkish clan, who comes from north and settles here. Region is ruled by Urartians from B.C. 9th Century to B.C. 6th Century. Later on, city enters under the rule of respectively Scythians, Persians, Alexander the Great; Seleucians in B.C. 189 and it is captured by Sasanians in A.D. 430 and then Arabians in 716. Caliph declared Sembad, son of Bagratid Ashot, as patrician of Christians in 861, and II. Ashot, son of Sembad, gets title of king from caliph in 886, Kars becomes center of Bagradit Dynasty in 928. Bagratids move their center to Ani in 962. Kars enters under rule of Byzantines in 1045; Seljuks in 1080. Later on, city remains under the rule of respectvely Saltukoğulları, Mongolians, Karakoyunlular, Akkoyunlular and it is included into Ottoman lands in 1534. Kars passes under the control of Russians at the end of Ottoman Russia War in 1878. It witnesses Russian invasion for 40 years between 1878-1918. As city witnesses great attacks throughout the history, it is destroyed substantially, therefore, old structures are not seen in the city. We can list important historical works in Kars as follows: Kars Castle, located on a hill in the north of city, is constructed during the period of Saltukoğulları in 1152, and it is composed of two section as citadel and bailey. It is destroyed due to wars continuously. However, it undergoes, repair during the reign of Kanuni Sultan Suleyman and in 19th Century. Church, which is constructed for the name of 12 apostles by Bagradits in 937, is turned into the mosque in 1579 and called Kümbet Mosque. Evliya Mosque and Yusuf Pasha Mosque, constructed in 1579, Stone Bridge, belonging to the period of III. Murat, İlbeyi and Cuma Baths, belonging to 18th Century, are some of the other old structures in the city. Kars Museum, containing archaeological and ethnographic works, attracts attention especially in terms of richness of ethnographic works.
It is a castle city, surrounded with walls and loated within boundaries of Kars Province, Arpaçay County, and in the border of Armenia. Bagadit Dynasty moves its capital city from Kars to Ani under the management of king III. Ashot in 962. Great public works are started in Ani City. City is furnished with architectural structures. City enters under Byzantine rule in 1044. Ani is captured and destroyed by Alpaslan in 1064. Ani city passes under the control of Georgians in 1124; Mongolians in 1239 and it is destroyed substantially at the end of earthquake, occurred in 1319. City is exposed to Timur invasions in 1360 and appears like a small village in 16th Century. Citadel inside Ani city is constructed in A.D. 5th Century. Walls, surrounding the original city, are constructed subsequently in 10th century. There are seven big gates on city walls. These gates are called Aslanlı Gate, Kars Gate, Hıdırellez Gate, Acemoğlu Gate, Tatarcık Deresi Gate, Divin Gate and Suyolu Gate. We can list remains of important structures inside the city from north to south as follow: Apostles Church (Sup Hovhannes), constructed inAni 10th century, Ateşgede (the place worshipping for fire) (Gheber Ghebre temple), belonging to 5th century; Bagradits Palace, constructed in 1092, King Gagik Church, Church, which is constructed as Patiarchate in 1031 and turned into Hostel by Seljuks, Ebul Muammeran Mosque, constructed in 1365, Surp Krikor Abugamrents Church,, constructed in 994; Great Cathedral, constructed by I. Gagik in 1001 and turned into the mosque under the name of Fethiye Mosque after conquest of Ani city by Alpaslan in 1064, Keseli Church (Surp Pırgich Church), constructed in 125; Maiden’s Monastery (Virgins Monastery), constructed in 1072; II. Ashot Church, constructed between 914-929, Citadel and Maiden’s Castle and also Bridge, connecting two sides to each other on Arpaçay Stream, are some of important and old structure remains in Ani ancient city.