Arqakaghni monastery

Coordinates: 36°54′40″N 35°41′43″E / 36.9112°N 35.6953°E / 36.9112; 35.6953
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Arqakaghni monastery
Արքակաղնի վանք
AffiliationArmenian Apostolic Church
ProvinceAdana province
Ecclesiastical or organizational statusDestroyed in 1915
StatusCeased functioning as a monastery in 1915
Arqakaghni monastery is located in Turkey
Arqakaghni monastery
Shown within Turkey
Geographic coordinates36°54′40″N 35°41′43″E / 36.9112°N 35.6953°E / 36.9112; 35.6953
Completed1122 AD

Arqakaghni monastery (Armenian: Արքակաղնի վանք), was an Armenian monastery in the western part of Adana province of modern Turkey, which lies 9 km southeast of Mamestia, a city in the east of Cilician plain.[1]


The monastery has two different names:[2]

  1. Arqakaghni (or Arqakaghin), which in Armenian language means King oak, because the monastery was surrounded by oak trees.
  2. Hachoyakatar (Armenian: Հաճոյակատար), which in Armenian language literally means darling ridge, but is identified with Mother of God.

The Exterior[edit]

The monastery consisted of several churches, and lay in a forest of oaks, plane and olive trees. The main church was called as Armenian: Surp Astvatzatzin which in Armenian language means Saint Mother of God.


Arqakaghni monastery was founded in 1122 near Mopsuestia, an ancient city in Cilician Armenia, as the seat of Mopsuestia's bishop.[3] It also served as:

  1. A rich storage of rare medieval Armenian books and manuscripts[4]
  2. A medieval school and university
  3. The creating house of manuscripts and hand-written books
  4. A notable center of Armenian folk and church music.

Some medieval Armenian historians (listed below) eulogized Arqakaghni monastery:

Medieval Armenian author and priest Vardan Aygektsi also studied there.[7]

In 1206–08 Arqakaghni monastery became archbishop David Arqakaghneci's residence. Buried at the monastery were Levon II, his father Stephane (Armenian: Ստեփանե), Grigor Apirat.,[8] and the Catholicos of the Armenian Church.

A devastating earthquake in 1269 damaged the monastery, but in 1284 the monastery was reconstructed and continued functioning until the Armenian massacres in Adana province when it was damaged again. During the Armenian genocide of 1915, it was destroyed completely by the Turks.


  1. ^ Article from "Christian Armenia" Encyclopaedia shown at "" Archived 2012-03-27 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Christian Armenia" Encyclopaedia, Yerevan 2002, p.163
  3. ^ "Sisuan" by Ghevond Alishan, Venice 1885
  4. ^ "Cilicia's Monasteries" by H. Voskyan, Vienna 1957
  5. ^ Kirakos Gandzaketsi's "History of Armenia", Yerevan 1982
  6. ^ "Smbat Sparapet" by Taregirq magazine, Venice 1956
  7. ^ Vardan Aygektsi's biography at ""
  8. ^ ["Sisuan" by Ghevond Alishan, Venice 1885]

See also[edit]