There are some places the season of spring suits the most. Akdamar Island, one of the four islands on Lake Van in eastern Anatolia, is one of those places. The newly blossoming almond trees color the island in pink and white, creating an unearthly atmosphere for locals and visitors. Situated in the middle of turquoise blue Lake Van and surrounded by the snowy mountains and blossoming almond trees, Akdamar Island offers an admirable view that visitors coming to the island can't get enough of. However, the natural beauty that sprouts from the island is not why Akdamar is on the must-visit list of many people around the world. Armenian Orthodox church, Akdamar Church – also known as the Church of the Holy Cross – is the real star of the island. The island and its surrounding provinces were once ruled by the Kingdom of Vaspurakan as a vassal of the Abbasids in the Middle Ages. In the 10th century, between 915 and 921, Armenian king Gagik I Ardzruni tasked Bishop Manuel, one of the greatest Armenian architects in history, to build a church on the island, which is believed to house a piece of the True Cross, the actual cross that Jesus Christ was crucified on.