Ardahan is a relatively new province in Turkey, having previously been a district in Kars. It is located on a mountain plateau with the majority of its population residing in rural areas. Agriculture is the primary source of income for the locals, and carpet weaving is particularly important for young girls in the region.
The city of Ardahan is surrounded by numerous small rivers and lakes, the largest of which is Cildir Lake. During winter months, the lake becomes completely frozen, and fishermen have to make holes in the ice to catch fish. The area is also home to a diverse range of bird species.
Akcakale Island is a man-made island in the lake, reputedly constructed with the labor of thousands. It features a temple with Urartian inscriptions on it. Another lake, Lake Aktas, is located on the border of Turkey and Georgia, at an altitude of 1,800 meters (5,905 feet) above sea level. It is a shallow lake with small islands formed by grass and plants that move around.
Despite being a small city, Ardahan is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery. The earliest known document from the area is a stone inscription from the 9th century BC found in Cildir Lake. People have inhabited this region since the 8th century BC. Throughout history, the city was captured by various empires, including the Seljuk Sultan Alparslan in 1069 AD and the Ottomans in 1551.