The Church of the Holy Cross on Aghtamar Island

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 Considered one of the “Seven Wonders” of Armenian architecture, the Church of the Holy cross is situated on the island of Aghtamar, in the southeastern waters of Lake Van, Turkey. this exquisitely refined sanctuary was constructed from A.D. 915 to 921, under the patronage of King Gagik and Queen Mlke Arzruni, the great royal family of Armenia’s Vaspurakan region.

Its most distinctive and astonishing feature is the set of carved reliefs covering the exterior walls of the Church. During the height of the Arzruni Kingdom of Vaspurakan, the island complex became a great spiritual center.

Today, though it lies in ruins behind a foreign border, this magnificent, picturesque structure continues to attract countless tourists.

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