Akdamar Island, One of The Wonders of Van and Its Unknown Story

Akdamar Island, One of The Wonders of Van and Its Unknown Story

According to the legend, the Armenian monk on this island has a beautiful daughter named "Tamar". A young shepherd in villages around the island falls in love with this beautiful girl. The young man floats on the island every night to see Tamar; Tamar waits for her place in the dark with a lantern in her hand. After a while, Tamar's father knows about it and gets very angry. On a stormy night to separate them, he takes the flashlight and goes down to the shore of the island. The shepherd is tired of swimming and drowns and says "Ah Tamar!" then gives his last breath. Hearing the cry of her beloved, Tamar puts herself in the lake ...

According to this legend, which has been described for many years, it is thought that the island, which started to be called "Ah Tamar", has survived to the present day as "Ahtamara" and finally "Akdamar".

After this sad story of Akdamar Island, let's talk about the historic church on the island. It is known that the Akdamar Church was built by King Gakik from the Vaspurakan dynasty in the region between 915-921 BC. The architect of the church is the Architect-Monk Manuel. This historical place is considered to be the most valuable work of Armenian art in architectural terms. Built with a central dome, a four-leaf clover-shaped cross and red-cut stone tuffs, the church has vibrant motifs. In his book, historian Anne R. Redgate writes that King Gagik brought the best architects and masters of nearby civilisations to build this church.

Akdamar Church, in 1021, the kingdom of Vaspurakan was destroyed, in 1113 was converted into a monastery. After being a monastery, it was called the Holy Cross Church. Besides, until 1895, the Armenian Patriarchate became the centre.

On the outside of this exceptional structure; religious subjects, worldly subjects, palace life, hunting scenes, human and animal figures are precious embossed ornaments. On the inside, there are frescoes on the subject of religion. All these wall paintings are of particular importance because they are the earliest examples in the region.

For the Akdamar Church, which had been standing for an average of 1100 years, demolition work was started in 1951. Yasar Kemal, a young journalist at the time, knew about the incident by chance and intervened and prevented the collapse of the church. The church was restored between 2005-2007 under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Today it continues to welcome its visitors as a museum.

Akdamar Island is one of the beauties you can see in Van. If you are planning a Van trip to see the beauty of Van, the pearl of Eastern Anatolia, you can make the most suitable hotel selection for yourself by making calls like Van hotels, Van hotels and Van 5 stars hotels.

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