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The cathedral.The Church of the Holy Cross (Armenian: Սուրբ Խաչ, Surb Khach) on Akhtamar Island, in Turkey, was a cathedral of the Armenian Apostolic Church, built as a palace church for the kings of Vaspurakan and later serving as the seat of the Armenian Catholicosate of Aght'amar.

Contents [hide]
1 History
2 Architecture
3 Vandalism
4 Restoration
5 Religious Life
6 Controversies
6.1 Renaming
6.2 Protests
6.3 Other Controversies
7 References
8 External links

[edit] History
A detail of David and Goliath from the cathedral.
General view of Akdamar Island in springtime.During his reign, King Gagik I Artsruni (r. 908-943/944) of the Armenian kingdom of Vaspurakan chose the island of Aght'amar as one of his residences founding a settlement there.[1] The only structure standing from that period is the Cathedral. It was built of pink volcanic tufa[citation needed] by the architect-monk Manuel during the years 915-921, with an interior measuring 14.80m by 11.5m and the dome reaching 20.40m above ground. In later centuries, and until 1915, it formed part of a monastic complex, the ruins of which can still be seen to the south of the church.

Between 1116 and 1895 Aght'amar Island was the location of the Armenian Catholicosate of Aght'amar. Khachatur III, who died in 1895, was the last Catholicos of Aght'amar.[2] In 1915, during the Armenian Genocide, the monks of Aght'amar were massacred, the cathedral looted, and the monastic buildings destroyed.[3]

The Cathedral has since fallen into disuse. When the writer and journalist Yaşar Kemal was visiting the island of Akhtamar in 1951, he saw the Holy Cross Church being destroyed. Using his contacts to the public, he helped stop destruction of the site. However, the church remained in a neglected state until 2005, when restoration as a secular museum by the Turkish government began.[4]

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Additional Photos by OSMAN SAHINOLANLAR (osmansah) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 28 W: 0 N: 33] (316)
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