St. Hovhannes Church, also known as Meghri Monastery, is a 17th-century church located in the town of Meghri in the Syunik Province of Armenia. The church’s exact origins are shrouded in mystery, but it is believed to have been built in the 17th century. A gravestone from the 9th century found on the premises suggests that the church may have been built on the site of an earlier church or monastery.
The church is a fine example of Armenian ecclesiastical architecture, with its distinctive dome and bell tower. It is constructed of local stone and features intricate carvings and frescoes. The interior of the church is adorned with frescoes depicting scenes from the Bible and the lives of the saints.
Over the years, the church has undergone several renovations and restorations. Most recently, in 2023, the church was undergoing extensive renovations to preserve its frescoes and architectural elements. Despite these renovations, the church remains a popular attraction in Meghri, drawing visitors from all over the world.
St. Hovhannes Church is not the only religious landmark in Meghri. The town is also home to St. Astvatsatsin Church, another 17th-century church with beautiful frescoes, and St. Sarkis three-nave basilica church, which is also decorated with frescoes. Together, these churches offer a glimpse into Armenia’s rich cultural and religious heritage.
The frescoes of Meghri’s 17th century St. Hovhannes (St. Sargis) church after restoration, source: Vahagn Hovhannisyan from Հայաստան Armenia Армения