Akdamar island in the heart of the East

Akdamar Island, one of four islands in Lake Van, Turkey’s largest lake. With the church on Akdamar Island, 47 km from Van city center, 4 km inland from the coast is located. His real name, which Akhtamar Akhtamar Island, on the 1100-year history is known by Armenians with the Holy Cross Church.

Even though I live in Van in 96-97 years I go to the bedside of my Akdamar Island Somehow he thought somehow I could not go. Kismet UnAymIş after 15 years. Almost 2 years of Oceania and South Asia trip continued, I went to Iran after the last track of the Middle Eastern countries, I reached Van crossing the border (June 2012). short of a nostalgic taste this was one of the trails in Van Akdamar Island.

The monks built the King ı.gagik control by Manuel church, it was converted into a monastery in the year 1113 and until 1895 was the center of the Armenian Patriarchate in the region. in the north-east of the church’s chapel dates 1296-1336, the west did JAMA (community house) in 1793, while south of the bell tower was added in the late 18th century.


The chapel in uzeyir unknown. The dome was dedicated to the Holy Cross church in the center, 20 meters in height. worth attention stone reliefs depicting sacred subjects in Akdamar Island in the south east of the church walls. Stone relief in the Bible and the story from the Torah as well as religious, secular subjects, palace life, hunting scenes, depicted human and animal figures. Unfortunately, these frescoes greatly deteriorated.

Jonah thrown into the sea, Hz. Mary with Jesus in her arms, the fall of Adam and Eve in paradise, the Prophet. Goliat battle with King David, Samson Palestinian duo, three Hebrew young men in the fire, Daniel in the lion scenes in some of the topics covered. A scene depicting King Gagik presenting his model of the church in the western front also included. In the pediment of the four Gospel writers have depicted the length direction.


For many years, neglected churches remaining period of 2005-2007 under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Turkey, as a step towards the improvement of relations with neighboring Armenia and Armenians, 1.5 million dollar investment has been restored.

Church March 2007’dekült the Minister Ertugrul Gunay and the museum reopened with the participation of Deputy Minister of Culture of Armenia. After restoration work, 19 September 2010 Spiritual Assembly of the Patriarchate of Armenians in Turkey in the church Patriarch Archbishop Attorney General held a ceremony Atesyan management. This ritual held here 95 years later recorded as the first ritual.


Akdamar legend

Time time Armenian Akdamar Island in the early monks living in the proverbial beauty of language, he has a daughter named Tamar. a young lad who was a shepherd in a village near the island’s beautiful daughter falls in love with the monk. The young shepherd had come to the island to swim each night to meet up with Tamar. He is expected to indicate the exact place it in the dark of night with a flashlight shore.

He informed the girl’s father, on a stormy night, descending with flashlights in hand the island’s coast, thence along the coast there, the place has changed constantly. The young lad lighthouse in vain pursuit swim, have lost their power.

Tired young shepherd drowned on the spot and with her last breath before drowning “Ah Tamar!” He exclaimed. Echoing this pain is heard immediately after the girl left to itself the waters of Lake Van. Since then, the island came to be known by the name of Ah Tamar.




How to get to Akdamar Island

Van hawthorn-bus terminal to reach the island of Akdamar need to ride the minibus. Akdamar pier hawthorn is reached in about 30 minutes. There is transportation to the island during the day and waiting boats. Moving the boat fills up.

Dark blue lake water in 20 minutes is reached after a boat ride to the island. Akdamar Island, including roundtrip boat costs $ 7. The museum card out to the island for free; card is not able to log on to the island in exchange for the $ 5. Island, 1.5 km long and 0.5 km wide, with a need to allocate at least 1 hour for sightseeing. I spent almost half a day.

The island is located in the cafeteria-style food, hot and cold drinks and biscuits are served. Those who wish to shield guided from the center of Van, dinner tours there.

To visit the island in the spring, which ranks first in the list of places to visit Van is recommended. Almond and apricot occupied the island and sea combination of lush meadows of flowers should be great. I would definitely recommend to swim jumped into the sea from cliffs in the island’s north coast. Lake Van soda grease consistency may be an interesting experience to swim in the crystal clear water.


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