Photographer's Note

Akdamar island seen from the highest point of the tiny island in Lake Van. The negative was in a horrible state, I used smudge, crop, and neat image to make it better, this was the best I could do to improve it. There was even a fingerprint at the lower right, that was difficult to remove, though the lake water became a little "too neat".
The lake is at 1646m elevation, and covers 3713sq km. I do not know the name of the mountain in the background, but it is definitely not one of the famous volcanoes like Nemrut, Süphan or Ararat. Info on the armenian church from the internet:

The island of Akdamar in Lake Van in Eastern Anatolia is famous for its church, constructed in 915-921 A.D.

With the ascension of Ashot I to the Armenian throne, a renaissance was initiated in Armenian art by the Bagradid dynasty. During the 9th and 10th centuries, numerous churches were built. Rich feudal families started repairing the churches and monasteries on their land. The Bagradid kingdom consolidated its power but at the end of the 9th century they were unable to keep all the Armenian dynasties under their control and found themselves fighting against various feudal families. The Ardsruni princes from the small kingdom of Vaspurakan emerged as the greatest rivals of the Bagradids. The domain of the Ardsrunis, including the lands of their vassals, extended from Mount Ararat in the north to the Lake of Urmia in south-east.

After becoming king of Vaspurakan, Gagik embarked on a large scale construction program, with emphasis on building churches and monasteries, in effect competing against the Bagradid Kingdom. Among monuments built by Gagik, the Church of Akdamar (Aght'amar) is the most famous one, having become subject to various publications.

The name given to the island, Aght'amar, is explained by a well known legend among local population: A nobleman who fell in love with a beautiful girl named Tamar visited the island every night to see her. As he was crossing the lake one stormy night, his boat capsized and fighting the waves, he drowned uttering the words "Ach Tamar". Tamar, awaiting the arrival of her loved one, grieved deeply upon hearing the news of his death and died soon after. Hence, the island was called "Ach Tamar" (Aght'amar) ever since.

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Additional Photos by Tan Yilmaz (capthaddock) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3689 W: 138 N: 6179] (28790)
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