Surp Giragos Armenian Church in Kurdistan receives EU Prize for Cultural Heritage

Easter ceremony held in Amed's Surp Gragos Armenian Church. Photo: H. Kamer

AMED (DİHA) – Diyarbakır’s Surp Giragos Armenian Church restored after many years received the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award.

Surp Giragos Armenian Church in Diyarbakır province, restored after 30 years, received the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Award. 28 projects, selected out of 263 people and organizations’ applications from 29 countries were found worthy of prizes for their excellence in areas such as conservation, research and digitization, dedicated service by individuals or organizations, and education, training and awareness raising.

Its history

Although some parts of the Surp Giragos Armenian Church in Diyarbakır were completely rebuilt in the 1880’s, the church originally dates back to the 17th century. The 350-year-old church suffered numerous fires, served as German headquarters during WWI and then as a Sümer Bank storage building. Starting to serve as a church again between 1960-1980, the ruined structure had come to be used as a barn after Diyarbakır’s remaining Armenian population, estimated to be around 35,000 people in 1927, left the city.

The restoration project including the substantial construction of new buildings was realized thanks to the efforts of the Surp Giragos Church Foundation, non-governmental organizations and interested individuals. The church opened its doors on 22 September 2011.

The European Union Prizes for Cultural Heritage will be given out to their recipients on June 11th, in an award ceremony in Oslo City Hall.

UA-57178893-1