Cathedral of Kars
|Holy Apostles Church of Kars|
|Affiliation||Armenian Apostolic Church|
The Cathedral of Kars (Turkish: Havariler Kilisesi), also known as the Holy Apostles Church (Armenian: Սուրբ Առաքելոց եկեղեցի Surb Arakelots Yekeghetsi) or Kümbet Mosque (Turkish: Kümbet Camii) is a 10th-century Armenian church in Kars, Turkey. It also served as the Kars Museum between 1969 and 1980 and at various times has served as a Seljuq mosque, an Ottoman mosque, a Russian cathedral and as a depot. Currently it is used as a Turkish mosque under the name Kümbet Mosque
Armenian Cathedral (940s-1064)
The Cathedral was constructed when Kars was part of Bagratid Armenia, and was completed in the mid-940s under the rule of the Bagratid Armenian King Abas, who had transferred his capital to Kars. The church was located in the Armenian Ayrarat province, historic Armenia. It served as a cathedral for the Armenian Apostolic Church and was called the Holy Apostles Church as its exterior contained the sculptors of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus.
Mosque during Seljuq Empire (1064-1100s)
Firstly the Great Seljuq Empire converted the church into a mosque when they captured Kars in 1064. But it was abandoned after they retreated from the city.
Mosque during the Ottoman Empire (1579-1877)
In 1579 the Ottoman Turks converted the church into a mosque again.
After the Russian capture of Kars in 1877 it was converted to a Russian Orthodox church.
In 1918, after the fall of Kars to Turks, the cathedral was again turned into a mosque.
In 1920, Kars again fell to Turkey and it ceased to function as a church. It operated briefly as a mosque in the 1920s before being used as a petrol storage depot.
Kars Museum (1969-1980)
It functioned as Kars Museum between 1969 to 1980. Archaeological works from Kars and its surrounding region, as well as objects uncovered by the excavations of the medieval Armenian city of Ani were gathered there. After the new museum building was completed the works were moved and exhibited there.
Strategically, the new museum in Kars was found in a road which forks off the road to Ani in the northeast of the town. Finds from the Bronze Age to the present day were on display there. An annex also housed an ethnography department.
Kümbet Mosque (1993-present)
The museum closed in 1980 and the location lay derelict, until 1993 when it was converted to a mosque under the name Kümbet Mosque.
- Lynn Jones, Between Islam and Byzantium: Aght'amar and the Visual Construction of Medieval Armenian Rulership, (Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2007), 98.
- SAYMAZ, İSMAİL. "Bin yıldır paylaşılamıyor". Retrieved 12 January 2013.
- Kouymjian, Dickran. "Index of Armenian Art: Armenian Architecture - Kars". Armenian Studies Program. California State University, Fresno.
- THE CATHEDRAL OF KARS at VirtualAni.org
- 3D model of the Holy Apostles Cathedral
- 50 pictures inside and outside of The Kümbet Mosque