BAYAZID, or Bajazet, a border fortress of Asiatic Turkey, chief town of a sanjak of the Erzerum vilayet, situated close to the frontiers of Russia and Persia, and looking across a marshy plain to the great cone of Ararat, at a general altitude of 6000 ft. It occupies a site of great antiquity, as the cuneiform inscriptions on the neighbouring rocks testify; it stands on the site of the old Armenian town of Pakovan. It is picturesquely situated in an amphitheatre of sharp, rocky hills. The great trade route from Trebizond by Erzerum into N.W. Persia crosses the frontier at Kizil Dize a few miles to the south and does not enter the town. A knoll above the town is occupied by the half-ruined fort or palace of former governors, built for Mahmud Pasha by a Persian architect and considered one of the most beautiful buildings in Turkey. It contains two churches and a monastery, the Kasa Kilissa, famous for its antiquity and architectural grandeur. The cuneiform inscriptions are on the rock pinnacles above the town, with some rock chambers, indicating a town or fortress of the Vannic period. The population has lately decreased and now numbers about 4000. A Russian consul resides here and the town is a military station. It was captured during the Russian campaigns of 1828 and 1854, also in 1878, but was then recaptured by the Turks, who subjected the Russian garrison to a long siege; the place was ultimately relieved, but a massacre of Christians then took place in the streets. Bayazid was restored to Turkey by the treaty of Berlin.
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