Zvartnots Cathedral, Armenia

Zvartnots Cathedral /Temple (in Armenian: the Cathedral of Watching Forces or the “Temple of Celestial Angels” ) in Armenian Highlands.

The cathedral was built between 643-652 and was destroyed around 930 by the earthquake.

The temple stood on a platform surrounded by a stepped pedestal which has partially survived. Its composition reminds a cross put into a circle.

This cross was the basis of the internal space of the temple. The entire structure was supported by four 20-m mighty columns.

The cathedral was made of three differently sized cylinders put on top of each other and crowned with a spherical pyramid-shaped cone. From top to bottom the temple was decorated with magnificent stone carvings.

The intricate ornament framed the eaves and braided the window apertures. The temple’s walls were decorated with grapevines, branches of a pomegranate, and the finest geometrical patterns.

It is assumed that before the cathedral there was a pagan temple of the god Tyr – writing, interpretation of dreams, wisdom, and culture – on the territory of Zvartnots.

by Merike Joosep

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