Kars, a fortified city of Turkish Armenia, seat of a pasha, situated on a rugged plain, 6,000 to 7,000 ft. above the sea, on the Kars, a branch of the Arpatchai, a tributary of the
Aras or Araxes, 100 m. N. E. of Erzerum; pop. 12,000, mostly Armenians. It is defended by ramparts surrounded by a ditch, and has a strong citadel, and some works on the hills N. of the city. It is a place of transit for goods and produce to and from the interior and eastward. Formerly it contained 6,000 houses, but now has not over half that number. It was taken by the Russian general Paskevitch in 1828, and occupied for two years. In 1855, having been strongly fortified under the direction of English engineers, it was strenuously defended by Gen. Williams and Ismail Pasha (the former Hungarian general Kmety) against the Russians under Muravieff. An attempt to capture it by assault (Sept. 29) failed after a bloody struggle, but the place finally surrendered from famine at the end of November.