Arak Monastery (Surp Arak'elots Monastery) The Surp Arakelots Monastery, also known as the Arak Monastery, is located in the eastern region of Mus Province in modern-day Turkey. It shares its name with a nearby populated area. Enclosed by a high wall, the monastery complex comprises a large church with a dome, two side chapels, and various monastic residences. Adjacent to the southern wall is another group of buildings and an open pool of clear water. The Surp Arak'elots church, the main structure of the monastery, is constructed entirely of brick, a departure from the typical use of stone for Armenian holy sites. It has an unusual cross-in-square plan, with side rooms at each of the four corners. Scholars disagree about the influence of Byzantine architecture on the brickwork, but the building is believed to date from the 10th to 13th centuries, with a possible reconstruction following an earthquake in the 1660s. The dome and its octagonal drum were still intact in 1960 but were later destroyed. The Arak'elots monastery is famous for the preservation of two treasures. In 1205, the monastery purchased a large and illuminated homiliary, a book of sermons created around 1200, which became its most precious possession. The manuscript was saved from destruction during the Armenian Genocide by two women who divided it into two parts, burying one half at an Armenian church in Erzurum and carrying the other half to safety in Russian-controlled Armenia. The manuscript is the largest surviving Armenian manuscript known today.