The Medieval Armenian Monastery Of Khtskonk

Khtskonk is a 9th-century medieval Armenian monastery near the village of Digor (formerly Tekor) in about 25 km from Ani (now in Turkey). It is now almost completely in ruins due to the action and inaction of the Turkish authorities.

Organically combined with the surrounding mountain landscape, the monastery has been distinguished by artistic unity. In total, there have been five churches in the monastery – the Church of the Holy Mother of God (Astvatsatsin), St. John the Baptist (St. Karapet), St. Stephen, St. Gregory the Illuminator, and St. Sarkis. Only the latter church has survived, albeit in a dilapidated state.

The monastery has remained operational until 1920 – in that year, the Armenian population remaining in the region was exiled by the Turks. After this, the monastery territory was declared a military zone closed to visitors. Back in 1984, a special pass has been still required to enter Digor.

By 1959, only the St. Sargis Church has been standing, but it had been seriously damaged. According to local villagers, the monastery’s churches had been blown up by the Turkish military.

Harutyun Harutyunyan

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