The Medieval Armenian Church of Surb Amenaprkich in Trabzon

The Medieval Armenian ChurchThis medieval Armenian church in Trabzon is experiencing hard days. Until 1915, the monastery was the center of the Trabzon diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Then, after a major fire, it was cast to the mercy of fate.

The Armenian medieval church of Surb Amenaprkich (Holy Savior) in Turkish Trabzon was in a deplorable condition, as at the time was said by the “Milliyet” newspaper. This is the only Armenian church building in the territory of Trabzon that has survived until our days.

The complex was built in the 20s of the 15th century. The building is located on the hill “Boztepe” (“Shadow Hill”). The name of the hill is most likely a direct translation from Armenian “Aghjamughji blur” (Աղջամուղջի բլուր).

Originally, Surb Amenaprkich was a monastic complex. It included a church, a bell tower, monastic cells, and a small chapel. Now, only the church stands.

Back in the days, the church building was used to host liturgies. Now, the building is owned by one of the locals. On the walls of the church, frescoes on Bible motifs are still preserved. There are also numerous khachkars (cross-stones) in the area.

According to Professor Ismail Kese from the Karadeniz (Turkish: Karadeniz, Black Sea) Technical University, there used to be up to 200 Armenian churches and monastic complexes in this region at one time. Their territories are now mostly privatized by the local population.

Kese believes that it is necessary to restore the state ownership of those lands and rebuild the destroyed churches.

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