Akdamar Church

Akdamar Island is an island in Van Lake, the biggest lake in Turkey in Eastern Anatolia. The island hosts a ruined Armenian cathedral remaining from 10th century called The Church of the Holy Cross. It’s one of the most picturesque places in Turkey with Mount Ararat in the background.
The Church of the Holy Cross was once an important Armenian cathedral. The the cathedral was founded between 915 and 921 as part of a royal complex housing a palace, monastery, streets, gardens and terraced parks. It was the seat of an Armenian patriarch from 1116 to 1895. The church is all that remains today. It was designed by Armenian architect Trdat Mendet (also known as Manuel), who also helped in repairing Hagia Sophia’s dome when it collapsed after an earthquake. The cathedral was restored by the Turkish government beginning in May 2005.
The cathedral is mostly famed for impressive reliefs and frescoes that adorn its external walls. These are bas-relief carvings and friezes of biblical scenes including Adam and Eve, Jonah and the whale, David and Goliath, Abraham and Isaac, St. George slaying a dragon, Christ Pantocrator, and Madonna and Child.