Quake cracks dome of ancient Armenian church in Van

Quake cracks dome of ancient Armenian church in Van

(Photo: AA)

October 28, 2011, Friday/ 14:34:00/ ASLIHAN AYDIN

The 10th-century Armenian Church of the Holy Cross on Akdamar (Ahtamar) Island in Lake Van has a crack in its dome because of the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that struck the province of Van on Sunday.

Officials said their initial observations show that there is no other serious damage to the church but they are waiting for the aftershocks to end before evaluating the whole structure of the church.

The Armenian Orthodox Church of the Holy Cross occupies a special place in medieval Armenian art and architecture. In September 2010, 95 years after religious services ended, the church was reopened as a museum and operated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Religious service is allowed only once a year at the church.

Meanwhile, officials said that buildings belonging to charitable foundations in Van were not harmed by the quake. Among them is the 450-year-old Hüsrev Paşa Medresesi.

However, the minarets of the Hüsrev Paşa Mosque and the Kaya Çelebi Mosque have visible cracks.

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