Armenian Cathedral of the Holy Cross (Akdamar Church)

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

ThThe Church of the Holy Cross (Armenian: Surb Khach) on Akdamar Island, in Turkey, was a medieval cathedral of the Armenian Apostolic Church, built as a palatine church for the kings of Vaspurakan and later serving as the seat of the Armenian Catholicosate of Aght'amar.

The Church of the Holy Cross was once an important Armenian cathedral. The seat of the Armenian Orthodox patriarch, the cathedral was founded by King Gagik between 915 and 921 as part of a royal complex that included a palace, monastery, streets, gardens and terraced parks. The church is all that remains today.

The church was designed by the Armenian architect Trdat Mendet (also known as Manuel), who also built the cathedral in nearby Ani and helped repair Hagia Sophia's dome when it collapsed after an earthquake.

The Church of the Holy Cross was the seat of an Armenian patriarch from 1116 to 1895, after which it was abandoned due to conflict between Armenia and the Ottoman Empire. The building fell into disrepair and was neglected throughout the 20th century.

The cathedral was restored by the Turkish government beginning in May 2005. The restoration cost $1.5 million and took 18 months to complete. At a ceremony on March 29, 2007, it was officially opened as a museum.

/