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St. Gregory of Nareg had a vision of the Virgin Mary with child in the clouds above Arter Island in Lake Van. A voice told him to approach the vision, so he rose and ran across the water to the island where the monastery named Holy Mother of God (Առ-տերի Սբ. Աստվածածին - Arderi Surp Asdvadzadzin) was built.
The Monastery originally had two churches; only the Holy Mother of God Church survives and is clearly visible from the lake shore.