V - XIX Century AD - Martuni Region, Karabakh
After visiting the other main monasteries of Karabakh, a visit to Amaras will be surprisingly flat. Built in the middle of a field, it is not surprisingly surrounded by high fort-like walls. The site has some historic value and is being restored. The workers and family who live in the wall will probably be happy to discuss the monastery in Armenian or Russian.
Relatively, this is a very plain monastery. Some of the more decorative elements have been lost over the years, so it is even more plain than before. When entering the compound (there is only one entrance) you first see a courtyard where animals were said to be kept. Head straight left through another opening towards the church and enter its courtyard. The church is in the middle of the courtyard which is spacious and has a mulberry tree to match those outside the compound. All around the courtyard there are rooms that used to be used by the monks. You can climb around in them, or climb up to the roof for an elevated view. The corner rooms have a domed roof and had bats when I entered them.
Upon entering the church and approaching the altar, you will find a stairwell heading down underground. There is a low ceiling in parts and a flashlight is helpful. Underground there is a room, with parts of the wall missing. I am not sure what the room was built for. The rest of the church is quite plain and not remarkable.
<googlemap lat="39.683742" lon="47.057405" zoom="15"> 39.683742,47.057405, Amaras Monastery </googlemap>