Tsarakar - Long Lost Armenian Monastery Found Inside A Rock In Turkey!
The carved inside the rock a stunning 10th century Armenian monastery complex Tsarakar has been discovered near the Kurdish village of Çukurayva (former Armenian village of Prut), at an altitude of 1,949 meters above sea level, just 5 km southeast of the former historical Armenian town of Kechror, in the Kars Province of modern-day Turkey (the former Armenian Gabeghenits Canton, Ayrarat Province of the Greater Armenia).
Available sources indicate that Tsarakar is mentioned in medieval records of historiographers and geographers, but its whereabouts remained unknown until recently. It was described to be located in a naturally inaccessible place in the immediate vicinity of Kechror.
Once a major monastic complex in medieval Armenia, Tsarakar lost its glory and significance over the centuries and was consigned to oblivion. What remains of it are only the interior structures, the exterior buildings are irretrievably lost.
Every visitor may easily see that the structures of the monastic complex are cut into quite friable masses of rock which are naturally striped and have certain coloring, looking like the parallel circular lines showing the age of a cut tree - hence, the name of “Tsarakar”, the Armenian equivalent for “Tree Stone”.
The colophon of “Ashkharatsuyts” (an Armenian medieval geographical work), dating back to 1656, also confirms: “The canton of Gabeghenits and the castle of Kaput also called Artagereits in the town of Kechror is situated there together with the cut in rock monastery of Tsarakar, where Archimandrite Khachatur Kecharetsi’s is buried.”
God knows how many hidden Armenian relics in Turkey we have yet to find out...