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Kornidzor is a village in Syunik Marz of Armenia.

Cave church

About 2.3km southeast of the village, OUTSIDE OF ARMENIA, is a small, simple cave church.

Newly discovered Rock Church "Hermit of Yeghegni gorge"

Leonid Azgaldyan

There are rocky gorges in the middle of the main river Kashatagh of the Artsakh Republic, Hakari, on both the right and left sides, in which there are many natural caves. They served the Armenian people many centuries ago as an apartment and as a caring building. Ruined and half-ruined in the region, several dozen churches are completely preserved, some of which are rock-cut. In the territory of Tsaghkaberd community, about 3 km south of the village, the Kronk monastery-cave church has been preserved. 8.2 km north-west, 1 km north-east of the former village of Nerkin Jijimli, 2.3 km south-east of the village of Kornnidzor, Syunik region, in an uninhabited, waterless and unusable gorge with a cut relief, ) there is another rock-cut church. It is dug into a thick layer of fine clay under the volcanic fracture (flooring) of the southern slope of the gorge and is completely handmade. The coordinates of the monument are: 39.535694, 46.552833. Alt. 1000 m. A small square about 3 m wide opens in front of the church, after which comes a steep slope. Natural and handmade shallow faces and rocky outcrops are opened in the line of contact between the western and eastern sides of the church and the line of contact between its heel. There are no traces of a settlement or village in the vicinity. Today there is no spring or stream in the gorge. The church is a single-nave basilica with a rectangular altar. The only entrances to the southern façade have collapsed. The rectangular hall is crowned with a ceiling resembling a two-center district, up to 3.28 m high. The rectangular table stood out from the hall with narrow, protruding, once arched railings. The tabernacle has a high (0.8 m) stage, one step leading to the north aisle. It, unlike the hall, is crowned with a low dome resembling a cut hemisphere. The front line of the tabernacle stage is dilapidated; today it is a curved opening. A narrow, arched niche has been preserved on the north wall of the tabernacle. However, there is no baptismal font, which suggests that the chapel-church was a place of worship for the hermits of the area. This is evidenced by the fact that there is no trace of a cemetery in the area, that is, the cave did not belong to any settlement. The floors of the hall and the tabernacle are covered with earth. The walls and ceiling of the church were plastered inside with woven clay plaster, which is mostly preserved.

The organization of the church lighting is remarkable. Most likely, the main lighting window was opened at the entrance from the south facade, which is currently collapsed. One of the canonical requirements of the church building is the window of the western façade, the presence of a vertical window of the tabernacle. In this case, when the church is completely sunk into the clay layer from the east to the west, it is practically impossible to open a window from the east to the tabernacle. Therefore, from the top of the southern wall of the tabernacle, a round vent-window 3 m long and 0.7 m in diameter was drilled and opened, which, being partially oriented to the east, had the meaning of the eastern window. Approximately the same principle solves the problem of the western window. From the top of the center of the western wall, a curved, outward-sliding window-window with an approximately մոտ circumference, bypassing the border of the entrance, leads to the southern façade. This solves the problem of two mandatory windows, which, although they do not provide enough light, but provide access to the east and west.

There is no inscription or decoration in the church. The sources are silent about its construction and survival. Judging by the structure and construction equipment, the church can be dated to the 14th-15th centuries. Apparently, it was built and used by hermit clergymen hiding in the valleys of these valleys.

The monument was discovered by the joint expedition of YSU Chair of Archeology, Ethnography, Archaeological Research Laboratory of the Institute of Armenology, according to Andranik Hayrapetyan, a resident of Kornidzor. Both banks of the Hakar River have been emptied of Armenians and inhabited by Muslims since the 18th century. Since then, researchers have paid little attention to the Armenian historical monuments in the area. After the liberation, it is possible to study the celebrities and discover new ones. The rock-cut church in Hochants was accidentally found, which is mentioned by Arakel Davrizhetsi. Residents of former Armenian settlements near the Azerbaijani-Armenian border provide important information for the discovery of such monuments in the area; Often our compatriots do not even imagine that the existing structure in the cave is a church, their information is the discovery of a new Armenian sanctuary.

Zohrab Irkoyan

Source with photos: https://www.facebook.com/844532158912432/posts/1473736095992032/