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Ghazanchetsots Cathedral

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Surp Amenaprkich Ghazanchetsots Cathedral

Surp Amenaprkich Ghazanchetsots Cathedral in Shushi is a large monument, the face of which is covered with local finished white lime-stone.

The majestic dome leans on four pillars. The exterior ways are luxurious, there are ornament- carvings everywhere, especially on the arches of doors and windows.

In the southern door's head there is the following building inscription;

"With the help and mercy of Almighty God was built this wonderful sacred temple Ghazanchetsots Surp Amenaprkich church for the town of Shushi, the building of which started in 1868... and was finished in 1887...".

Dimensions: 34.7m long, around 23m wide and 35m high.

During the church repair while cleaning the floor was discovered an inscription, thanks to which became known the cathedral’s architect’s name. In the lower part of the altar’s butt-end was carved, “the sacred image is gift in the memory of church’s constructor Avetis Yearamishents… in the summer of 1886. Architect Simeon Ter-Hakobyants”. This inscription enriched the list of masters and architects of XIXc by two bright names.

One of the newly found inscriptions of the church preserved on the tympanum of window-passage in the northern font- “ A gift from Badkes Michael Hovsepyan and his mother Hripsime 1885-9-25 (September 25 of 1885)”. On the window-bed of the opposite façade is carved; “This wall is a memory of pilgrim Hovsep and his wife Bakumays Kocharyants. Summer of 1896”. The next inscription in the upper part of western front says, “Presented c(itizen) of Sh(ushi) Khachatur- bek Alanverti from Jalalyants famiy. 1883”. Here, under the arch is carved, “Savor’s face. 1868”. On the northern wall is written “Saint Spirit of God”, on the eastern “God Father”, on the western “All-saver. 1868”. On the typmanum of the cruciform window in the southern front is carved, “Presented T. Tamirents- c(itizen) of Sh(ushi) in the memory of my uncle-pilgrim Margere and Baba and my parents. Summer of 1885”. Inside, on the casing of the font around the cross- picture is written “Jusus Christ. John the Baptist. One who was not born from water and spirit can’t get to the God’s kingdom. 1871”.

On the western side rises a three-story chapel. In the upper-corners of the first floor are put four stony statues of a man's height "...which blow the trumpet with terrified looks". The chapel was built by Shushetsi Abraham Khandamiryants.

The stony chain of the chapel is a pretty sample of sculptor art.

The building inscription of the chapel is put from outside in the eastern wall. In its 10 lines are carved “the chapel is built in the memory of the deceased Gabriel Hovsepyan- Batiryants, who is from Ghazanchi and of pilgrim Mkrtich Margaryan- Khandamiryants, of his wife Balasan and their sons Arup and Stepan and all Ghazanchiants. Let’s remember God in his glory and for the sake of saving all the souls of the dead and the deceased. Summer of 1858”. As is seen from the inscription the building of the chapel started 10 years earlier than the church. This unusual circumstance (normally they first build the church, then the vestibule, and only then the chapel) lets us suppose that here had functioned another church (also called Ghazanchetsots), built in XVIIIc and probably with less architectural merits which they tore down and replaced. The previous church is mentioned in the book “Traveling to Armenia” by Mesrop Taghiadyan, who visited Shushi in 1820.

Aghuletsots St. Amenaprkich Church "is in the center of the town... built on four pillars", has a rounded stair- pedestal, with exterior rectangle and interior domed composition. In two corners of the inside stage the vestries are two-story, the entries of which rise from the stage's side.

The gable roof is covered with trimmed stone, on which rise three chapels. The largest of them is situated in the center of the church' roof, the others are in eastern and western ends, just like was Amaras' church in 16c. Neither these, nor the three-story chapels adjacent to the eastern wall of the church have survived. In Shushi's undated scheme attract attention the large, almost connected with each other buildings, situated in the wing of Aguletsots church. The preserved documents confirm that the church had also "its own land, in its southern side 12 shops and in northern side 15 shops". So the row of buildings mentioned in the scheme were from the shops that saw M. Bakhutaryants.

On the squared beam stone of monument's southern door has preserved the church's large building inscription; "With God's will Holy Virgin senior church was built by efforts and expences of nation's dear princes Zohrap Hovhanja, Markos and Baba ter Mateosean Tarumeants... in 1822".

Several decades, before Ghazanchetsots church was built, this church was considered town's largest religious center, for which it was called "senior". At the same time, it, as a monument of architectural significance considerably influenced on the formation of town's center. Later on around it were built Ghazanchetsots church, Khanamiryan theatre with 350 spectator- seats, a three- story club, the town's park, number of educational and trading beautiful buildings. So the center became a place for large social gatherings. The streets coming from town's top and bottom parts came to the social center situated on the axis from west to east.

To the aesthetic impressiveness of the center add the park near the square, the stony springs and slab streets. All the buildings of the center were built from cream- colored stone with vault- motives peculiar to Armenian Architecture.

Plan shushicathedral.gif


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