Archive Images of Western Armenia

Archive Images of Western Armenia

Nowadays almost every Armenian construction standing in Western Armenian region of Turkey is ruined. Some believe that Western Armenian churches have visible stylistic difference from temples in Republic of Armenia, and they look more like mosques.

They suggest that the form of the temples of Western Armenia on the territory of the Ottoman Empire has been directly influenced by Islamic traditions, and every following renovation brought more and more of the religion’s features to churches’ architecture.

It is quite possible, especially considering that the authorship of the lion’s share of the Ottoman architecture belongs to the Armenians. Are known whole Armenian dynasties of architects in the Ottoman Empire who built: mosques, theaters and other significant buildings.

In my opinion, that the main reason for the differences in the church architecture of the Western part of Armenia from the Eastern one is that the Churches in Western Armenia were built on the site of the Ancient Pagan temples. There are more such temples in Western Armenia than in Eastern.

This is also evidenced by the archaeological excavations carried out recently, and traces of the “work” of robbers and marauders who are constantly digging near the Ancient Armenian buildings in search of treasure.

In reality, the Turkish government deliberately announces a treasure hunt, that to finally destroy the traces of Armenians from the territory of Historical Armenia occupied by the Turks.

Surb Karapet Monastery, about 30 km (19 mi) northwest of Mush (modern Muş, provincial capital of Muş province in Turkey). The monastery has been a significant religious center of the historic province of Taron.


The Cathedral of the Holy Cross on Akdamar (Aghtamar) Island, in lake Van in eastern Turkey, built during 915-921, is the most antique and the only preserved temple among the churches presented in this article.
A procession in the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
The Varagavank monastery by the lake Van. The monastery was founded in the early 11th century by Senekerim-Hovhannes Artsruni, the Armenian King of Vaspurakan.

Armenian women from the region of lake Van.
Armenian women from the region of lake Van.
An Armenian family.
A fully armed Armenian soldier, the region of lake Van.
Khachkars at the cemetery of the Arakelots Monastery (11 km south-east of Mush).
Surb Karapet Monastery’s main church, renovated after being destroyed by Persian troops in 1750s and by a devastating earthquake in 1784.
Surb Karapet Monastery’s main church, view of the main entrance.
The Varagavank monastery.
View of the Surb Karapet Monastery.
The Surb Karapet Monastery in winter.
The Narekavank monastery.
Another view of the Narekavank monastery
The Arakelots Monastery. Evidence shows that the monastery was founded in 11th century during the rule of the Tornikians, a branch of Mamikonians. The wall around the monastery was built in 1791.
Another view of the Arakelots Monastery
Monks of the Varagavank monastery, demonstrating the throne of the King Senekerim-Hovhannes.
View of fort of Van from Tabriz gate.
Chapels of the Surb Karapet Monastery, built in 16th century
Roofs of the Varagavank monastery’s churches

Surb Grigor Monastery on the Lim island in lake Van has a conical dome, which is very similar to the dome of the tomb of Persian Sunni Muslim poet Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī (more popularly simply as Rumi) in Konya. Rumi’s tomb was completed in 1274, whereas the dome of the Surb Grigor church was built after 1310.

Armenians of Van province.
An Armenian girl from Eastern-Anatolia
Armenian nuns.
Entrance of the St. Bartholomew Monastery, eastern Turkey.
A view of a monastery unfamiliar to us.
Catholicosate of Armenian church of Sis has been located here since 1282.
The Lim Monastery
The St. Bartholomew Monastery.
Monks on the Lim island

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