akdamar holy cross church was built between 915 and 921.in the armenian traditionnal style (see also my ISHAN KOYU page):a cone-shaped dome recovering four apses sculptered with a lot of animals....
at the end of byzantine empire,armenian kingdom was the only buffer state between eastern hordes and weak finishing empire...
gagil the first artunsi built this church and a palace for his retirement.
today,these monuments are still in good condition,because the redoubtable turkish horsemen were poor navigators and the island seemed to them inaccessible!
after visiting Akdamar island we had 2nd lunch at Akdamar restaurant that located opposite of Akdamar Iskelesi(harbor).
the top 2 meals were a Kurdish meal (Meat+Tomato+Red rice) for 15 TL
& a sea food by Van Fishes for 12.5 TL
& 1 TL for bottle of water. (2009/88)
I liked the Kurdish meal the taste was interesting but it was expensive!
Boat move to Akhtamar Island from " Gevas Akdamar Iskelesi" whenever there are enough people.
it costs 5 TL, 20min
under akdamar church,there is a small and attractive beach....guides tell even scorpions appreciate it....i don't know,but prevention is better than cure!
anyway,you 'll find there a pleasant small "restaurant"...
25km south of van,near gurpinar,on the road to hakkari.
on çavustepe hilltop,the remains of an old city,maybe "sardurihurda" under assyrian king "sargon II" 722-705BC...
easier to imagine than troyan ruins....interesting even for non archeologists!
a lot of streams coming from the volcanic mountains feed the lake....
the only way to discharge its overflow:evaporation.
from which :strong salinity of its waters.
nevertheless,contrary to other salted lakes,one can find a lot of fishes...
Fondest memory: landscape and nature
also due to salinity,swimming in its waters,gives you a sooooo silky skin!