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Varagavank Monastery

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About 10km E of the town of Van are the remains of the once huge complex of Varagavank Monastery, known by locals as Yedi Kilise or Yedikilise (Seven Churches), reflecting it's past glory. The ruins are still worthy of a visit. A few churches of the monastery remain in various states of collapse, two without roofs, one with frescoes, and some nice carved crosses, particularly along the front under the arches. Once the best known monastery of Vaspurakan and seat of the Archbishop of Van, the monastery takes it's name from Mt. Varag (now Erek Dagi), whose southern slopes it rests on. The monastery was destroyed by the Turkish army on April 30th 1915, during the siege of Van.

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2011 Quake

NEWS.Am Presents PHOTOS Of Armenian Monastery Collapsed By Turkey's Quake

news.am, Armenia Oct 31 2011

VAN. - Armenian News-NEWS.am's correspondent visited the Varagavank Monastery, which is a major Armenian holy site nearby Van, Turkey, and photographed the Monastery, which collapsed after the October 23 earthquake in Van.

Armenian News-NEWS.am reported earlier that the Monastery was damaged in the quake.

After reopening of the Holy Cross Armenian Church, on Akhtamar Island in Lake Van, Yukaribakrachli villagers had applied, to Van Provincial Hall and Provincial Department on Culture and Tourism, with a request to restore the Varagavank Monastery Complex located in their village.

And in an interview with Armenian News-NEWS.am's correspondent, the village imam Mehmet Choban had noted that the nearby mosque needs to be dismantled in order to restore Varagavank. "The new mosque is being built quickly. Once it is built, the old [one] will be dismantled and Varagavank's restoration will start," the imam had said, stressing that those in charge had stated that Varagavank's restoration would start in 2012.


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