On my way from Tatvan to Van I made a little trip to the small island Akdamar.
The second largest island in Lake Van was for a long time the cultural centre of the Armenians in the Armenian highlands (today's east of Turkey). Since the 4th century A.D. the island served as a palace of the Armenian kings and accommodated beside a palace also an extensive monastery plant.
In the course of the Armenian genocide the complex was destroyed by the Turks in 1915, the church plundered and the monks murdered.
In 2005 the Turkish government decided to rebuild the Armenian Church of the Holy Cross. In 2007 the church was opened to the public again.