Armenian Cathedral of the Holy Cross - Akdamar Island (Van Province, Turkey)
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Dorcadion Team
N 38° 20.427 E 043° 02.203
38S E 328421 N 4245413
Quick Description: The stunning Cathedral of the Holy Cross (Akdamar Kilesi/Surb Khach) in Akdamar island (Van Lake), one of the most precious examples of early medieval Armenian sacral architecture preserved in Anatolia, served as cathedral from 1116 to 1895.
Location: Turkey
Date Posted: 3/28/2015 8:14:53 AM
Waymark Code: WMNKBP
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member saopaulo1
Views: 1

Long Description:

The stunning Cathedral of the Holy Cross (Akdamar Kilesi/Surb Khach) in Akdamar island (Van Lake), one of the most precious examples of early medieval Armenian sacral architecture preserved in Anatolia, served as cathedral from 1116 to 1895 as seat of of the Armenian Catholicosate of Aght'amar.

The Church of the Holy Cross was once an important Armenian cathedral. The seat of the Armenian Orthodox patriarch, the cathedral was founded by King Gagik between 915 and 921 as part of a royal complex that included a palace, monastery, streets, gardens and terraced parks. The church is all that remains today. The church was designed by the Armenian architect Trdat Mendet (also known as Manuel), who also built the cathedral in nearby Ani and helped repair Hagia Sophia's dome when it collapsed after an earthquake.

The Church of the Holy Cross was the seat of an Armenian patriarch from 1116 to 1895, after which it was abandoned due to conflict between Armenia and the Ottoman Empire. The building fell into disrepair and was neglected throughout the 20th century. The cathedral was restored by the Turkish government beginning in May 2005. At a ceremony on March 29, 2007, it was officially opened as a museum. The restoration project was seen as a diplomatic step by Turkey to improve relations with Armenia, which remain very tense.

On a cruciform plan and topped with a conical roof, the Akdamar church is just 15 × 12 m in size. It is made of red tufa stone brought to the island from distant quarries. Inside the church are faded but still-impressive frescoes. The exterior church's walls are decorated by impressive stone reliefs by Armenian master carvers. These reliefs depict Biblical scenes with Adam, Eve, Abraham, David and Goliath, and Jesus as well as earthly themes, such as life at palace, hunting scenes and human and animal figures.

Address:
Surb Khach / Akdamar Kilisesi Akdamar Adası Van Lake / Van Gölü Van Province Turkey


Religious affiliation: Armenian Apostolic Church

Date founded or constructed: 915-921

Web site: [Web Link]

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