Armenian Akhtamar Church restoration nears completion

The restoration of a 10th-century Armenian church located on Akhtamar Island in eastern Turkey’s Lake Van is about to be completed, Today’s Zaman reports.

According to the report, the walls of the church have been renovated in line with the original design.

Known in English as the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the church was in ruins and on the verge of collapse. The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism started a restoration project in 2005 to preserve the historical identity of the church. The church has since become a destination for domestic and international tourists since being opened as a museum by the ministry after its first restoration was completed in 2007.

The second restoration project started in April of last year on the ruins of the church’s monastic buildings.

Adnan Vural, owner of Alfin Construction, which carried out the restoration of the church, said the work is nearly finished.

Religious services have been held inside the church four times. The last time a religious service took place in the church was in September of last year. Armenians from Turkey, Holland, Austria, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, France, US, Iran and Armenia attended the services. Several foreign diplomats in Turkey also attended the event.

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