The location, the garden, the original part the structure, and the outside relief carvings of Akdamar Church or Church of the Holy Cross (921 AD) is among one of the most beautiful spots I have visited in Turkey. I will never forget it. Nestled in a garden with old tombstones and with a view of Van Lake it was serene and peaceful. When we visited there were only a few tourists milling around -making the experience even more meaningful. There is one distraction however.
On the side of the church facing the dock they are currently building a long stone structure divided in small compartments. I presume they are "restoring" the monastery perhaps to provide rooms for pilgrims. In my view the building is hideous and detracts from the beautiful old church.
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