Trans Eurasia travel


Rusai-Uru_Tur_bastamAbout 90 km (56 miles) south of Maku on the road to Khoy lies the tiny village of Bastam, 6 km (4 miles) to the west of Qareh Zeya od-Din. The huge Urartian fortress called Rusai-Uru Tur sits on the northern side of a steep mountain ridge, whose southern edge falls almost vertically into the river Aq Chay. The citadel was built in terraces and consisted of three fortifications: the lower fortress with the quarters of the military commander, the middle one with a temple dedicated to the main Urartian god Khaldi and the upper fortress where the towns archives written in cuneiform were discovered. From here, the visitor gains a good view over the fertile valleys of the Aq Chay and its large tobacco and sunflower fields.

The fortress was built by King Rusai II between 685 and 645 ВС and was destroyed in the VI century ВС by the Medes. Later, between the IX and XIII century AD, the upper citadel was reoccupied by a mixed Armenian and Muslim population. Since the fortress was utterly destroyed and its ruins looted by the villagers of Bastam to build their own houses, a visit here is mainly rewarding for historians and archaeologists who can "rebuild" the city in their imagination based on the easily recognizable pattern of ground walls.