The Cape Bright area ("Ak-Bulun")

The great shrine at the waters of Issyk-Kul


Issyk-Kul is not only a resort area with beautiful nature, but also a major historical and cultural center, attractive for both tourists and scholars from around the world. One of the unique sights of Issyk-Kul is the Ak-Bulun peninsula, better known as the Cape Bright.

The uniqueness of the Cape Bright is that here, presumably, is the burial of St. Apostle Matthew. Many centuries ago, there was a Nestorian monastery and two Christian monasteries of Armenian brothers, as evidenced by the complex of catacombs dug by Armenian monks around IV-V centuries on the Issyk-Kul coast, near the village of Kurmenty.  In 1881-1882, on the orders of Tsar Alexander III, the Russian Holy Trinity Monastery was erected in their place. The monastery consisted of various agricultural buildings, with an apiary, a barn, a sheepfold, a forge, large gardens, vineyards and flower gardens also run by the convent. In addition, cereals were grown here, that were sold to the locals. The monastery also served as an enlightening function - it contained a large library filled with books of both spiritual and secular content. The monks taught local kids writing, reading.

In 1916, during the Kyrgyz tribes uprising against colonial oppression, most of the monastery was destroyed. Only a few buildings: a refectory, a chapel and a mill remained. The refectory building currently houses a private children's home “Meerim Bulagy”, where several dozen of school age children are brought up. In addition, on the territory of the former monastery there is an Agricultural Technical College.

Research expeditions and archaeological excavations are often underway near the Cape Bright, so this site remains interesting over the years.

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