Artavazik Church – Byurakan, Armenia

Artavazik Church – Byurakan, Armenia

Artavazik Church is located in the gorge near the village of Byurakan, Armenia. Built in the 7th century from red and black tuff, the church has a cross-domed construction.

The eastern wing is semicircular, while the rest are rectangular. On the northwest side is a small aisle. The west entrance is decorated with a portal framed by paired half-columns.

The transition to the octagonal drum of the dome is based on a squinch. The slender openwork rotunda of the bell tower was erected on the roof of the western wing in the 13th century. In the eastern side of the church stands a khachkar (cross-stone), also from the 13th century.

The church saw its first major renovation in the 12th century. It was again renovated in 1959-1960. This time, the significant damage caused by a flood of 1840 was repaired.

In Armenian medieval church architecture, Artavazik Church stands out for its originality. Unfortunately, it is not mentioned in historical sources, and lithographic inscriptions were not preserved on the church building itself. According to one theory, the church was named after Artavazd, its builder.

Today, the church is in a dilapidated state – most of the vault and the dome have been destroyed.

Article prepared by Natalia Ghukasyan Photo:

Արտավազիկ Artavazik Артавазик

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