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Monastery of Surp Gevork of Goms

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Title: Monastery of Surp Gevork of Goms  
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Language: English
Subject: Vaspurakan, Saint Sarkis Monastery of Gag, Church of the Holy Mother of God, Darashamb, Kirants Monastery, Saint Sarkis Church of Tsovinar
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Monastery of Surp Gevork of Goms

Monastery of the of Saint George of Goms
Monastery of Surp Gevork of Goms is located in Turkey
Monastery of Surp Gevork of Goms
Shown within Turkey
Basic information
Location Bitlis Province, Turkey
Geographic coordinates
Affiliation Armenian Apostolic Church
Status Ceased functioning as a monastery in 1915
Heritage designation None
Architectural type Armenian church
Architectural style Armenian
Completed 10th century

The Monastery of Saint George of Goms (Vaspurakan, in present-day Turkey. The local Armenian peasants called it Jojglukh vank (Monastery of the Great Head) (Armenian: Ջոջգլուխ վանք). Goms, meaning "cowsheds", was the name of the nearest village to the monastery: this village is now called Kümüs by its Kurdish inhabitants, its official name is Çanakdüzü.

The monastery lied at shores of Lake Van, within a compact and almost square fortified enclosure. The masonry of the enclosure wall is not bonded into the structure of the church, implying that it is a later construction and the church was originally free-standing. There are oval shaped defensive towers at the south-east and north-east corners of the wall. The wall's masonry shows two distinct layers: the bottom three quarters was constructed using roughly shaped but regularly laid stone blocks and the top third uses larger and less regularly shaped stones.


This monastery is not mentioned in any known historical source. However historian-orientalist J. M. Thierry considers that both the design of the church and historical events indicate that the church was probably built just after the conquest of this district, called Armenian Genocide in 1915. In 1923 this abandoned monastery was plundered and ruined by Turks and Kurds. But considerable damage has occurred since the early 1970s. In addition, the rising waters of lake Van during the 1990s have eroded the coastline within the bay and now threatens the base of the monastery's fortified wall.

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