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Andrys Basten | profile | all galleries >> TURKEY Photos - Anatolia, 2004, with Canon Elph >> Photos: Akdamar Island, Lake Van tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Flying to Istanbul - First views and photos | Istanbul - Sultanahmet photos | Photos: Istanbul Archaeological Museums: Alexander the Great | Istanbul's Bosphorus Cruise | Ankara , its museum, and Aksaray - photos | Cappadocia Balloon Ride Photos | Cappadocia Hot Air Balloon Ride VIDEOclips (LOUD) | Cappadocia photos 2 | Cappadocia photos 3 | Photos: Goreme Open Air Museum frescos | Antakya and Mosaic Museum photos | Gaziantep photos, mosaics - Zeugma (Belkis) | Abraham's Pool & Harran - photos | Photos: Mt Nemrut heads, Perre-Perin, and Diyarbakir | Photos: Akdamar Island, Lake Van | Ishak Pasha Sarayi photos | Photos: In search of Noah's Ark - Mt. Ararat | Erzurum photos | Ephesus photos | Ephesus Museum and Selcuk photos | Pergamon acropolis ( Pergamum photos ) | Pergamon Asclepion - Pergamum Aesklepion | Aphrodisias site and museum - photos | Pamukkale photos ( Hierapolis ) | Dalyan photos - Turkey | Dalyan to Kaunos boat - photos | Lycian Telmessos | Kalkan - Kas photos | Photos: Kekova - Simena by Boat | Photos: St. Nicholas church. Old St. Nick origin | Myra, Antalya, Aspendos - photos | The Love Boat (Intro)

Photos: Akdamar Island, Lake Van

    Also known as Ahktamar, Aghtamar, and Aght'Amar (the latter two, considered by Armenians the correct spelling), the island's main attraction, other than its stunning Lake Van locale, is the 10th century Armenian "Cathedral Church of the Holy Cross."
    It was built by Bishop Manuel under King Gagik I, in 915-921 A.D.

    The reddish cut stone (from volcanic rock) of the church seen against the
vivid blue waters of Lake Van makes an instant impression.
    But it's the stone reliefs, of biblical scenes on the exterior walls, that intrigue the most.  Not restored and quite weathered, they've survived centuries, the immediacy intact.
    (Unfortunately, I lost my backup camera battery, so I have only a couple of shots of those.)

Steve, a commenter below, points us to an excellent site which has detailed information for each figure on the East Facade and which has extraordinary in-depth info and photos for each clickable "key" on its map page, from the important Armenian perspective for these sites.



( For full Screen: If using a PC, press/toggle F11. If using a Mac, press/toggle apple/command-b )
After Diyarbakir, stopped for lunch at a diner here on the way to Van (the city).
After Diyarbakir, stopped for lunch at a diner here on the way to Van (the city).
Ahlat has the largest Selcuk cemetary in the Muslim world.
From the car, not far from Ahlat in Bitlis province.

Ahlat has the largest Selcuk cemetary in the Muslim world.

Selcuk is also often spelled Seljuk - which is much closer to the sound.
A small tombstone in a courtyard at Ahlat's Selcuk-period cemetery

"Selcuk" is also often spelled "Seljuk" - which is much closer to the sound.

On the way to Akdamar Island, looking back
On the way to Akdamar Island, looking back
A light rainbow on the right as we approach the island
A light rainbow on the right as we approach the island
Looking back again
Looking back again
There's the old Church of the Holy Cross
There's the old Church of the Holy Cross
The view from the path leading to the church
The view from the path leading to the church
And there it is.
And there it is.
The higher stones are smaller than the lower ones,the resulting lighter walls more resistant to earthquakes.
The higher stones are smaller than the lower ones,
the resulting lighter walls more resistant to earthquakes.
Here's more info about Akdamar
Back side of church, with figure at right.

Here's more info about Akdamar

Idyllic.   Maxwell Parrish might have visited  :-)
Idyllic.  Maxwell Parrish might have visited :-)
Tower and reliefs
Tower and reliefs
I don't know who's represented here. Others are more obvious.
Closer up

I don't know who's represented here. Others are more obvious.

Thanks to Guest;  This is Surp Krikor (equivalent to St. Gregory?)
Thanks to Guest; This is "Surp Krikor" (equivalent to St. Gregory?)
The interiors have been hurt by time and vandalism.
The interiors have been hurt by time and vandalism.
On this side, images from the New and Old Testaments
On this side, images from the New and Old Testaments
Jesus on the left, Adam and Eve on the right (Adam seems to note passersby).
Jesus on the left, Adam and Eve on the right (Adam seems to note passersby).
Scene from the back side of the church
Scene from the back side of the church
On the way back
On the way back
The sky was looking pretty dramatic.
The sky was looking pretty dramatic.
And more so.
And more so.
The last gasp
The last gasp