Saint Hakob of Akori monastery

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Saint Hakob of Akori Monastery
Ակոռիի Սուրբ Հակոբ վանք
Saint Hakob of Akori monastery is located in Turkey
Saint Hakob of Akori monastery
Shown within Turkey
Basic information
Location Northeastern slope of Mt. Ararat
Geographic coordinates 39°43′12″N 44°22′43″E / 39.7201°N 44.3785°E / 39.7201; 44.3785Coordinates: 39°43′12″N 44°22′43″E / 39.7201°N 44.3785°E / 39.7201; 44.3785
Affiliation Armenian Apostolic Church
Region Eastern Anatolia Region
State Turkey
Province Iğdır Province
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Destroyed on July 2, 1840
Status Ceased functioning as a monastery in 1840
Architectural type Church
Architectural style Armenian
Completed 341 A.D.

Saint Hakob of Akori Monastery (Armenian: Ակոռիի Սուրբ Հակոբ վանք; pronounced Akori Surb Hakob Vank; also sometimes referred to as Saint James), was an Armenian monastery located in southeastern part of the Igdır Province of modern Turkey, which lies 4.7 kilometers southwest of Akori (modern Yenidoğan), a village at the northeastern slope of Mount Ararat. Ağrı or "Arguri" is the modern name of the village once known as Karakilise (meaning black church) that was destroyed by an earthquake and avalanche in 1840. It was later rebuilt and is known today as Yenidoğan or Ahora and remains a small Kurdish village.


The monastery of S. Hakob was a cruciform central-plan structure constructed of black stone with a central dome [1] typical for Armenian churches of the time. The monastery had eucharistical inscriptions engraved upon the walls that dated from the 13th to 14th centuries.


The monastery was founded in 341 A.D. by Jacob of Nisibis, the second bishop of Nisibis who lived during the 3rd to 4th centuries A.D.[2] It was built upon the northeastern slope of Mount Ararat (Armenian: Մասիս; the greater mountain is referred to as Masis in Armenian) in Masyatsotn canton of a larger province of Ayrarat in Armenian kingdom. Some sources say that S. Jacob was the name of the monastery while there was a chapel of S. James nearby, while other sources refer to the two as the same site. The monastery is said to have contained relics of wood from the Biblical Ark of Noah. A strong earthquake occurred at Mount Ararat on July 2, 1840 causing an avalanche that destroyed the monastery of S. Hakob, Arakelots Vank in the neighboring village of Akori as well as the village itself.[3]


According to legend, Saint Jacob tried many times to climb Mount Ararat to find Noah's Ark which was buried under thick layers of ice at Parrot Glacier upon the top of the mountain. He would climb the mountain, fall asleep and wake up downhill from where he was. After repeated failed attempts, one day God said him in a dream "Do not try to find the Ark anymore. I will give you a piece of a wood of what the Ark was hewn". When he woke up, to his amazement he found the wood lying nearby. He decided to build the monastery at the location that he found the wood.


  1. ^ [1903: Parrot F., Reiszum Ararat, Lpz., 1985]
  2. ^ Illustrated dictonary of Taron-Turuberan's monasteries, Eprikyan S., 1953
  3. ^ [The "Christian Armenia" Encyclopaedia, Yerevan 2002, page 31]