The Churches And Khachkars Of Bjni Village – Armenia

We were aware of the existence of the Church of Surb Astvatsatsin – a significant Medieval monastic complex – built in 1031 by Grigor Magistros as an episcopal residence with the right to elect the Catholicos. Likewise, we knew about the Church of Surb Sarkis – a church built in the 7th century, and a church that is considered the smallest in Armenia.

However, the church of Surb Gevorg (13th century) was a surprise for us.

The basilica with wooden beams and columns appears to be older than it is – it resembles the earliest churches.

Pay attention to its capital ​– it is carved with painted ornaments and is surprisingly well preserved for its age.

In the last photos, local boys are playfully battling each other near the Surb Gevorg church.

Source: Yevgeniya Filatova with Ell Ka, translated by Art-A-Tsolum

The monastery of Surb Astvatsatsin in Bjni used to be the home of magnificent master stone cutters. Here are a few cross-stones (khachkars) from behind the church.

The last photo shows a khachkar from 1580 crafted by the famous master Melikset. Many consider this creation one of the most beautiful cross-stones, ranking it alongside the cross-stones of Poghos in Goshavank and a pair of cross-stones from Dadivank.

Source: Yevgeniya Filatova with Ell Ka, translated by Art-A-Tsolum

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