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Holy Cross Church

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Address: Merkez Gevas Merkez, Gevas, Van, Turkey

Located on the Akdamar Island in Lake Van, this Cathedral is significant...

Located on the Akdamar Island in Lake Van, this Cathedral is significant because it is the only surviving medieval Armenian church in which most of the wall paintings are still intact.

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It's Still Has the Spirit!

Terrific island location, facing the nearest shore and, with astonishingly undestroyed exterior relief sculptures and still viewable interior frescoes!

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 24 May 2016
San Francisco, California
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81 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 28: English reviews
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
83 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 May 2016

Terrific island location, facing the nearest shore and, with astonishingly undestroyed exterior relief sculptures and still viewable interior frescoes!

1 Thank fatoldlady
Durham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
126 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 November 2015

This marvelous Armenian Church can only be reached by boat to the small island it occupies. The external carvings are really superb and the interior while not comparable is extremely attractive and interesting. A must-see attraction which when I visited, was enjoyed by just 2 people!

1 Thank jaj0409
London, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
59 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 November 2015

Excellent trip from Van, this church sits in one of the world's most majestic lakes. Highly recommended for any traveller whether it be hippie hitchhiker or a big family!

1 Thank Edward C
Oxford, Michigan
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 September 2015

This monastery was built between the 8th and 9th century. The frescoes on the outside have survived the weather. They tell the stories of the bible.

Thank Barbaradventure
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
149 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2015

Visted the Church with a small tour group visiting central and eastern Turkey. This was one of the high points of the trip. One of the better (remaining) preserved Armenian Churches in Turkey and it is gratifying that restoration is in progress. This is one of the most photographed Armenian Churches, due to its location on a small Island in... More 

Thank Dionges1
Bursa, Turkey
Level Contributor
30 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2015

Both the island and the church are very well preserved. How can a church resist hars weather conditions on a small island is a real wonder. One can reach the island via approx.20 mins.of boat trip. you reach a very small island full of almond trees and natural reserve park for seagulls . Do not miss to take pics. of... More 

Thank Atilla U
new zealand
Level Contributor
688 reviews
285 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 230 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 May 2015

Is an Armenian Apostolic Church built around 900. Some of the stone work and drawings are exceptional. Apparently the church was saved from destruction about 100 years ago. The church is on Akdamar Island.

1 Thank thesmdm
Level Contributor
46 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 May 2015

This tiny church on an island in the middle of Lake Van is a must see and the reason most people go to Aghtamar Island. Inside there are frescoes on the wall and a lovely altar dedicated to the Virgin and Child but it is the relief carvings on the outside of the church that are stunning and memorable. Few... More 

Thank Robyn D
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
102 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2014

This medieval Armenian church is rather out of the way tucked on an island in Lake Van. But it is in excellent repair and the interior and outside carvings make the trip worthwhile.

2 Thank Robert M
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
45 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 September 2014

The church is historical and free to visit. We visited the church while there were wedding party, so I think we could see a traditional ceremony with traditional dance and music. Also, outside of the church is nice because of the view.

1 Thank Mansoureh83

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