The image of the Armenian temple of Zvartnots on the bas-relief of the Saint-Chapelle church in Paris

The Church of Saint-Chapelle is a stunning example of Gothic architecture located in the heart of Paris. Built-in the 13th century, it is renowned for its beautiful stained-glass windows and intricate bas-reliefs. One of the most interesting aspects of the church is the fact that its bas-reliefs depict the Armenian temple of Zvartnots.

Zvartnots was a temple that was built in the 7th century in what is now modern-day Armenia. The temple was dedicated to the Holy Trinity and was considered to be one of the most important religious sites in the country. Unfortunately, the temple was destroyed in the 10th century, and today only its ruins remain.

Despite its destruction, Zvartnots has remained an important symbol of Armenian culture and history. Its depiction on the bas-reliefs of the Church of Saint-Chapelle in Paris is a testament to this fact. The bas-reliefs show the temple as it would have looked in its prime, with its distinctive circular design and towering pillars.

But why would the Church of Saint-Chapelle choose to depict an Armenian temple on its walls? The answer lies in the story of Noah’s Ark.

According to Armenian legend, after the flood, Noah’s Ark came to rest on Mount Ararat, which is located in modern-day Turkey but was once considered to be part of Armenia. Zvartnots is said to have been built on the spot where Noah’s Ark first touched down on Armenian soil.

The depiction of Zvartnots on the bas-reliefs of the Church of Saint-Chapelle is therefore a nod to this legend. It is a reminder that the story of Noah’s Ark is not just a biblical tale, but also an important part of Armenian history and culture.

In conclusion, the bas-reliefs of the Church of Saint-Chapelle in Paris are not just beautiful works of art, but also a testament to the rich history and culture of Armenia. The depiction of Zvartnots on the walls of the church serves as a reminder of the important role that this temple played in Armenian history and the enduring legacy of Noah’s Ark.

Vigen Avetisyan

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