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Church of Akdamar (Holy Cross)

Coordinate: 38º24’02.17’’K 43º15’07.63’’D Height: 1774 m

It is located in Akdamar, largest island in Lake Van. It is reached by boats departing from Gevaş. Church of Akdamar was built by Armenian Vaspurakan King Gagik I with the palace between 915 and 921. The architect of the church was Monk Manuel. Complex was expanded by adding several buildings. It served until the First World War.

Central space of the free cross shaped church was covered with high rimmed dome. Cross arms were covered with barrel vaults. Most of the frescoes decorating the interior space are damaged. The structure is famous with various reliefs decorating the exterior façade. These reliefs are one of the finest examples of Armenian stonework.