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Akdamar pictures - Turkey

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Akdamar Church seems to mean Church of the Holy Cross. It’s from 921 and was built on the orders of Gagik Artzruni, King of Vaspurkan. The style is Armenian. I knew the churches fame but was dumbfounded when I actually saw it, because, like many churches, it tells Bible stories, this time mainly in carved stone on its exterior, but in such a wonderful design and with so greatly traced forms that it’s a joy to circle the building, as I did, time and again, making one picture after another, because you don’t want to leave anything behind, this is one of those things you would like to take home. A viewer of Armenian descent wrote me: “The name Akhtamar comes from an old Armenian story about love and loss. In a stormy night, a young man, attempting to swim to the island to get to his lover Tamar, tries to find his way after some jealous enemies put down the light that Tamar used as a beacon to guide her lover to the island. The man ultimatetly succumbs to the waves, saying “Akh, Tamar!” or “Ah, Tamar!” in English. “

Hovannes Toumanian, an Armenian poet, has a poem based on the story. An English translation can be found at http://oldpoetry.com/poetry/31082.

As for the September 2012 pictures of the exterior: I adjusted tone and contrast in some pictures to bring out the subject matter better. By necessity part of the church was in shadow (I did not stay all day, having to return to Van I even kind of hurried), I adjusted some pictures there, others I left untouched, in a few cases I made two versions to give an impression of the effect of raising contrast and luminescence. In general I think the pictures are pretty true to the actual circumstances. I was surprised to see how much more bland the stone looked compared to my much earlier scans from slides, which had a reddish hue (but were quite lively). I may sort them with the later ones, for the time being they are at the end of the gallery.

Though I am able to identify some scenes I feel an urgent need for specialists to help me write captions, so if you can “read” a scene, please use the comment box and write. You will not see what you wrote (I blocked that option to get rid of hate mail and advertising) but I will see it and use it to advantage. I know I take very many pictures but I hope for the aficionados that’s a blessing, and others can just move on.

AKDAMAR

Akdamar Kilisesi, Kutsal Haç Kilisesi anlamını taşıyor gibi gözüküyor. Vaspurkan Kralı, Gagik Artzruni’nin emriyle, 921’de, Ermeni tarzında inşa edilmiş. Kilisenin ününü duymuştum ama kendisini görünce şaşkına döndüm. Pek çok kilise gibi bu kilisede de İncil’den hikayeler anlatılıyor, ama bu sefer dış duvarlardaki taş kabartmaların üstünde ve mükemmel bir dizaynla. Şekiller o kadar iyi çizilmiş ki, benim defalarca yaptığım gibi, binayı dolaşmak çok keyif veriyor. Hiçbir şeyi kaçırmak istemediğimden, birbiri ardına resim çektim. Eve götürmek isteyeceğiniz türden şeylerin olduğu bir yer. Ermeni toplumunu inceleyen biri bana şunu yazdı: “Akhtamar adı, sevmek ve kaybetmek üzerine eski bir Ermeni hikayesinden geliyor. Fırtınalı bir gecede, adadaki sevgilisi Tamar’a ulaşmak için yüzmeye çalışan genç bir adam; Tamar’ın, sevgilisinin adaya ulaşmasına yardım etmek için fener olarak kullandığı ışığı kıskanç düşmanların söndürmesinin ardından yolunu bulmaya çalışır. Adam en sonunda, “Akh, Tamar!” (“Ah Tamar!”) diyerek dalgalara yenilir.”

Ermeni şair Hovannes Toumanian’ın bu hikayeyle ilgili bir şiiri var. İngilizce çevirisi, http://oldpoetry.com/poetry/31082 adresinde bulunabilir.

Türkçe çeviri: Melek Emir. Katkılarından dolayı teşekkür ederim.

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