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Photo by hacob
Some of the Islands in Lake Van have monasteries and churches built on them; no doubt the remote location offered seclusion to the resident religious communities. Forty-one kilometers southwest of Van, Akdamar Island ( a half-hour sail from shore) is the most important of these. On the island stands the 10th-century Church of the Holy Cross, now a museum, whose stone outer walls are richly carved with Old Testaments scenes and figures.
The "church of the Holy Cross" was built on Aght'amar Island in Lake Van between the years 915 and 921 by Armenian King Gagik Artzruni.