Artik (Arm: Արթիկ), Shirak Marz
Coming into Artik (Արթիկ, 15985 p) on the road from Maralik/Pemzashen, turn left at the entrance of town, then right on the flyover across the railroad tracks. At the town square (WWII monument), continue straight up Tonakanian St. to where the two adjacent early churches appear on the left: Marine or Astvatsatsin Church, 5th c.; S. Gevorg church =40=, 7th c.. Both are ruined, with restoration interrupted by the collapse of the USSR. There is also an 18th c. church in a cave in a gorge 1 km SE in direction of Harich. Catacomb type tombs of the 14th-9th c. BC have been excavated near Artik as well. The well-preserved Lmbatavank Church =40= church of the 7th c. stands on a hillside just SW of Artik (S. Stepanos church, important wall paintings). Some interesting 18-19th c. houses also survive in Artik.
Artik monuments info
Aragats mountain’s foots were settled still in ancient times. Many settlements, cyclic fortresses, cemeteries, various ancient constructions evidence about it.
The stone industrial town of Armenia-Artik has many such monuments. During 1960 excavations a Bronze-Aged cemetery was discovered under the stones. The mentioned excavations enriched Armenian archaeology by giving it many valuable things. Two noteworthy monuments standing next to each other preserved in the central part of the town. The small church is the oldest of two. The exact date of construction isn’t known, but the architectural style prompts that it belongs to ancient constructions. It can be considered as one of the first domed churches together with Tekor temple and Voghjaberd church.
The arches boarding the rectangle vaulted hall, the apse and two longitudinal arches make the underdome square, from which to the octahedral drum opens a passage. There are small vestibules in either side of the bay in the eastern side of the hall. They have half-round apses in eastern part. So it appears to be a three-apsed construction with cruciform scheme. The church has two entries from west and north. The lintels are solved restrained. The walls are ramshackle. The southern and eastern frontals are especially in bad condition. Sings from temporary reconstruction with small stones spoil its outward look.
In the center of Artik, towards southwest from the small church St. Gevorg church is situated. It is like Mastara, Voskepar, Haritch churches in scheme, but is bigger in dimensions than any of the above mentioned ones.
It has cruciform scheme, but one of the cross wings isn’t placed outside, and is put in the eastern plain. The two eastern vestibules, which also have apses, are included in the rectangle. The cruciform scheme is stressed generally by the rectangle order of apses. The western and southern apses are half-round from inside and polyhedral from outside. Pair of pillars rises in the corners and have vegetable ornamental motives on them. The northern apse is round from inside and outside. It is supposed to be the result of an old reconstruction. Two triangle passages in the eastern front door have richly processed crowns. The windows widely open and have vegetable ornamental motives. The church had two entries from south and west.
The cornice preserved on the frontal door is rather high and has beautiful ornaments. This ornamental details were effected by Zvartnots and help to come close to it date of foundation; it was built right after Zvartnots, in the second half of VII c.
The monument was reconstructed a number of times; in the top part of frontals new walls were built from clearly processed and broken stone. The destroyed cover was replaced with wooden, covered with soil roof. This reconstructions really spoilt the outward look of the monument.
Towards southeast from Artik the famous Lmbatavank’s St. Stepanos church well preserved. This monument was built in VII c. It occupies a special place in architectural and art history of its time.
Lmbatavank is a small central-domed cruciform monument, the eastern wing of which is half-round from inside and the others are rectangle. Tromps placed in the southern and northern cross-wings serve as basis for the dome. The latter is a unique example in Armenian architecture and is the most noteworthy peculiarity of the monument. The roof was tiled, and Lmbatavank was reconstructed in 1955-1956.
The article below refers to the church above by a different name St. Gregory vs. St. Gevorg (or George). Will have to double check different sources to confirm correct name.
FUND-RAISING ANNOUNCED FOR RESTORATION OF CHURCH IN ARTIK
Armenpress Jan 10 2006
GYUMRI, JANUARY 10, ARMENPRESS: On January 6 a fund-raising campaign was announced in the town of Artik, Shirak province for reconstruction of a 7-th century Saint Gregory church.
Under the Soviets the church was turned into a storehouse, like thousands of other churches across the USSR. The first attempt to restore it was made in early 90-s. The fund-raising campaign was initiated by the local priest and was backed by the municipality. According to estimates, some $600,000 are needed to restore the church. The mayor of Gyumri has pledged a door, windows and a cross.