Not far from the main square of Venice San Marco there is the Armenian Temple - the Church of the Holy Cross - the oldest functioning Armenian church in Europe. Its construction began in 1500.
Since ancient times, the Venetians were in close ties with the Armenians and had so well managed to make friends with the Armenians that they presented one of the central quarters of Venice to the Armenians. From the XI century, the Armenian community settled in Venice, and this quarter was called Armenian, and the “Armenian Home” center of culture also appeared here - Galli dell Armeni.
However, in 1496 a large fire broke out in the Armenian quarter, which completely destroyed the Armenian House. But instead of it, local Armenians erected a wooden chapel, which for centuries was altered as a wooden church. And in 1680 the church received its final form - with three altars, a dome made in the style of Venetian baroque.
In front of the temple of the Holy Cross there is a cemetery where people who have contributed to cultural life, to the construction and to the preservation of the church rest.
Today, unfortunately, the Church of the Holy Cross is open only on the last Sunday of the month. On these days service is held for the small Armenian community and tourists interested in the Armenian spiritual life.
Our ancestors everywhere to create and develop cultural, educational and spiritual centers to visit them definitely felt that there were and there are Armenians.