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Armenian Patriarchate Kumkapi

Armenian Patriarchate Kumkapi
Up until the mid 1800s the majority of local people in Kumkapi were Armenian and lived alongside their Turkish neighbours in much the same way they did; the women would cover themselves and their homes had separate quarters for men and women. As the Turkish residents left Armenians from central Anatolia and Armenia came in to take their place. The Armenian Patriarchate can be found inside the Church of Surp Asdvadzadzin (The Holy Mother of God) and stands on the site of a Byzantine church.



The Patriarchate moved from Samatya in 1641, and twice the buildings that it occupied were destroyed by huge fires, the first in 1762 and the second in 1826. Today’s complex was built in 1828 and has a school and three churches and the design of the buildings were made by the famous Balyan family. The Patriarchate sits on a sacred spring (ayazma) that has been dedicated to St. Theodore and can be found down the steps at the Surp Harutyun church. The attractive bell tower with crosses cut out of the façades was added in 1870. The church is not only used by Armenians, but also by the city’s small population of Ethiopians.

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