Beglaryan Melikdom Palace
100-150m towards north from Horekavank Monastery in the Martakert region of Karabakh, there is one of the well-preserved monuments of Artsakh’s palace-architecture. The palace was built by Melik- Beglaryans of Gyulistan. According to one of the inscriptions the building of the palace was realized in XVIIIc.
The palace- castle is a complex with towers and surrounded with a wall constructions. tHe rectangular in scheme castle is 42m long and 36,5m wide. All the constructions placed in its territory stretch in two rows by east-west axis. In the southern row there are 8 halls, 4 of which have one common gallery. Two middle halls with long colonnade-galleries with eight-hedral arcade, by their volume-space solution (sizes 7x7) resemble the vestibules of monastery Horeka. These interesting national dwellings with cone-shaped roofing (glkhatun) also don’t have neither pillars nor pilasters. Their stony domes are results of bold and unique idea. Unlike the analogous palaces, which have eight-hedral domes with passages, the roofings of the mentioned dwellings are half-spherical.
Placing two one-type glkhatuns side by side, alongside with simply functional, acquires in the system of palace-fort organizing and outlining significance. The rooms placed by left and right sides of the glkhatuns have fire-places and windows.
The gallery at first had a cylindrical vault, leaning on seven square in cut pylons. The rooms of the northern wing communicate with the gallery’s colonnade through the hall with vaulted cover. Placed in western part galleries have secret entries, fire-places and communicate with glkhatuns. The inside yard of the castle serves as a connecting point for southern and northern halls. Through the yard was also realized the connection with outside life. The main entry of the castle is from western side of the yard. The rooms of the southern wing are destroyed, part of the roof and corner-stones is collapsed. Here are placed 3 rooms, the side ones have almost equal sizes. All the windows open to the yard.
The palace-castle has at the same time served also a defense construction. Castle’s garrison was in a small fort towards north from it on ravine’s left wing. This fort is known in literature as Karaburg (four-towers). In the forest now too are noticeable the ground parts of these towers and connecting them serf-walls. The main fort of Gyulistan’s principality is by a village of the same name. In conclusion, we should mention that Melik-Beglaryan’s palace-castle is an interesting and unique construction of Armenian national architecture.
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