300-year-old Armenian monastery stands in ruins

The 300-year-old Armenian monastery of Surp Astvatsatsin (Tomarza Monastery) has completely deteriorated in the Tomarza district of Turkey’s Kayseri province, with merely a few ruined walls remaining, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

The monastery, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is situated in Kayseri’s Cumhuriyet neighborhood.

An important location for pilgrimage, the monastery also hosted famous British traveler and archaeologist Gertrude Bell in 1909.

Unfortunately, the monastery was looted and abandoned in 1915 (the Armenian Genocide).

A group of Armenian priests tried to use the monastery after the end of World War I, despite the severe damage the building had endured. However, they later had to abandon the monastery to its fate.

In the monastery’s ruins lie the Gregorian Armenian School, which had previously hosted the annual Festival of the Assumption with the attendance of central Anatolian and Lycian Armenians.

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