Turkey: 1100 year old Armenian Church holds 10th mass since reopening
A 1,100-year-old Armenian church on Akhtamar Island in Turkey’s southeastern Van province hosted its 10th special mass on Sunday since 2010 when it was reopened after 95 years’ of closure.
Sahak Mashalian, the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, and Father Harutyun Damatian came to the island along with 46 clergymen to conduct the ceremony in the Holy Cross Church.
The mass was led by Damatian and attended by some visitors from Istanbul, Armenia, and other parts of the world.
????#TURKEY BRIEF: A mass was held at the #Armenian Apostolic Church on Akhtamar Island— GercekNews (@newsgercek) September 9, 2022
????10th mass in #Akhtamar
????The #church is opened to worship once a year with the special permission of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
????Watch: https://t.co/FoMCc86Bgn pic.twitter.com/DzAKwAJ3rm
Armenian Apostolic Church, a rare Armenian architectural work built by Vaspurakan Armenian King Gagik I in 915-921, is visited by thousands of local and foreign tourists every year.
The church carries the most important adornments and the most comprehensive wall reliefs of its time and was accepted on the UNESCO Tentative List of World Heritage on April 13, 2015.
The first service in the historic church was held on September 19, 2010, after 95 years. In 2015, the rituals were suspended for 3 years for security reasons.