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“History lesson”
Review of Akdamar Island

Akdamar Island
Ranked #1 of 27 things to do in Van
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This island located in the salty Lake Van is home to the Church of the Holy Cross and some Armenian monastery ruins.
Reviewed 9 July 2014

Finding an Armenian church in the middle of Muslim country might be a bit surprising. Should you have a free afternoon in Van area make sure to take a ride to Akdamar Island to meet the history of the region. The church on the island is similar to those in Echmiadzin (Armenia), but currently ongoing reconstruction works prevent you from visiting all interesting areas.

2  Thank TomaszKozakowski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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44 - 48 of 194 reviews

Reviewed 20 June 2014 via mobile

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.

2  Thank reise-tanta-di
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 May 2014

In the middle of an endless lake, lies this peaceful island with a great history behind it. It is 3km from shore, hence it has an enormous view to the surroundings. The church is unique, even though it's not well maintained. Please climb up to the top of the hill, it takes 15 mins but worth it. The 360 degree vision from the top is magnificent, best place to take photo of the island with the snow mountain as the background.

Thank StepByStepExplorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2014

A must see when in Van is the Akthamar Island and Church, a 10th century Armenian Church. There used to be a monastery on the island too but it was destroyed. The church was renovated a few years ago. It really is beautiful. And the landscapes of Lake Van are truly beautiful. I would also recommend using the services of Van-based Halkan tours. They are professional and friendly.

1  Thank AramK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 October 2013

Lake Van, Akdamar island and Akdamar Church (The Church of the Holy Cross) are a single short trip from Van

1  Thank PeterJesson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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