Ancient legend has it that Van was built during the reign of the Assyrian Queen Semiramie and was later enlarged by a local prince by the name of Van, in whose honor the city was eventually christened. During the rule of the Urartu people, the city was known os Taespas, and during this era, the citadel was built. After the Persian occupation of Anatolia, the city come into the hands of the kings of Pontus, who were succeeded by the Armenian kings, the Syrian kings, the Byzantines and the Arabs. The province has been Turkish territory for five hundred years. Von became the capita! of the Urartians in the 9th century
B.C., when the Urartu King Sardur I took control of the area. The Armenians replaced these early colonists around 600 B.C. It is supposed that the ruins of this early perod were destroyed before the Christian period. Van became the capital of the Armenian tflngdam af Vaspurakan after the decline of the Persian power of the Sasanlans. The city surrendered without resistance to the Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent in the 16th century, it has remained in Turkish hands from that time.