Monuments of Armenian Architecture – Aghitu Memorial

Monuments of Armenian Architecture

Among the monuments of Armenian architecture of the 5th-7th centuries, steles and memorial buildings occupy a special place. The 6th-century memorial to Orbelian Princes in Aghitu causes more admiration than any other monument of this kind. The stele of this monument would be replicated in the architecture of the towers and two-story mausoleum monuments of the next centuries.

Aghitu (Armenian: Աղիտու, Agudi until 1995) is a village in the Syunik Province of Armenia, 4 km east of Sisian, on the left bank of the Vorotan River. The village houses a tomb building dated to the 7th century. Above the two deep crypts is a platform with a stepped entrance from the rear.

Three abutments rise above it – two pylons and a column between them, connected by arches, over which there was a cornice. The whole building was crowned with three arches standing on the figured columns that have not reached us.

According to a folk legend, the inhabitants of Agudi erected the monument to the three princes of Syunik who defeated the Persian ruler who was marching to the village with a large army.

The image of this monument was featured on a 1000 Armenian dram banknote of an older issue. Also, near the village in the gorge of the Vorotan River are dolmens dating back to the 2nd-1st millennia BC.

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