The Resonant Legacy of Gyumri’s Bell Foundry: Echoes from Dadivank and Shushi’s Green Monastery

The quaint city of Gyumri, known for its unique architectural splendors, carries a deep, resounding secret – it is home to the illustrious bell foundry where the bells of Dadivank and Shushi Green Monastery were crafted. The mastermind behind these melodious marvels is none other than sculptor Hovhannes Papoyan from Gyumri, who, alongside his brothers, founded a sanctuary for bell-casting. In a city known for preserving ancient Armenian artistry, the Papoyan brothers venture melds craftsmanship with a keen aesthetic eye. Their creations are not just bells; they are visual and auditory narratives of Armenian history and spirituality.

In 2015, marking a century since the Armenian Genocide, the bells crafted by the Papoyans found their home in Dadivank and Shushi Green Monastery. For five years, the mellifluous tones of these bells beckoned the faithful in Artsakh, resonating through the valleys, mingling with the prayers of the pious. But alas, war spared not even these sacred realms. While the bells of Dadivank have returned to their belfries, the reverberations from Shushi’s Green Monastery have been abruptly silenced by adversarial forces.

With every stroke of the hammer and chisel, the Papoyan brothers emboss Armenian aesthetics onto the bells, adorning them with traditional Armenian ornaments and bas-reliefs of churches. Each bell, a homage to a church, reverberates with the echoes of Armenian culture, its tones revering through the sacred corridors of Dadivank and Shushi’s Green Monastery.

Crafting these celestial symphonies is a task sacred in its essence. The furnace, glowing with a fierce ardor, slowly melds copper and tin, the two elements intertwining in a fervent dance. As the molten metal simmers to perfection, molds, ordained with paraffin ornaments, await to cradle the scorching blend. The birth of each bell is an ode to precision and artistry, attributes that define its distinct resonant call.

The Papoyan brothers, throughout their crafting journey, accompany each step with prayers. Their invocation seeks blessings not just for a successful cast, but for a higher cause. Each call of the bell is a prayer, a melodious plea for strength, resilience, and hope. Hovhannes Papoyan encapsulates this divine mission on one of his bells, engraving a plea, “God, strengthen my nation, Armenians.”

Unlike any artifact, a bell’s call matures over time, its tones deepening, gathering resonance from the annals of time it has witnessed. This natural aging enhances its musical allure, creating a symphony that is as timeless as the culture it represents.

The bells of Dadivank and Shushi’s Green Monastery are more than mere musical instruments; they are resonant vessels of Armenian history, culture, and spirituality. In a world fraught with dissonance, their calls invite us to a sacred realm of harmony and hope. And even in silence, the legacy of the Papoyan brothers and their humble foundry in Gyumri continues to resonate, awaiting the day their creations will again echo through the serene Armenian highlands.

Vigen Avetisyan
Based on status: Gayane Ayvazyan Հայաստան Armenia Армения

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