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Shoghakat Church

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XVII AD - Armavir Marz

Shoghakat church is a later monument of Echmiadzin’s architectural complex. It was built in 1694 near Hripsime Church, on its western side, in place of an ancient structure to which it obviously owes its size and the composition of the type of the domed hall common in Armenia in the 6th— 7th centuries.

The interior of the building was distinguished by the Iaconicism of its layout and spatial arrangement which was fully perceived upon entry through the only western door. The high octohedral cupola, resting on wallside abutments, emphasizes the main and the best illuminated part of the interior. Architectural details and decoration, which are rather modest, add to the sharpness of the building’s spatial arrangement.

In it, there are no open galleries common in the 17th—18th centuries. The vaulted gallery on the western side, built simultaneously with the church, is a closed premise crowned by a six-column rotund belfry in the middle. The horizontal orientation of the gallery and the open-work architecture of the low-placed belfry create the impression of the church’s interior expanding from the entrance to the top of the cupola and make it look very tall.

The entranceway is a large arched opening in an ornamented frame. The windows and individual parts of the western facade are also ornamented. The ornament is mostly geometrical, sometimes thoroughly detailed and unusual pattern of interlaced hand frames, rosettes and khachkars. This ornamentation has much in common with similar carvings of the bell-towers of St. Hripsime Church and Echmiadzin temple, which makes the decoration of all these structures stylistically akin.

Text and floorplan from "Architectural Ensembles of Armenia" O. Khalpakhchian, published in Moscow by Iskusstvo Publishers in 1980. Copyright (c) 2000, Raffi Kojian, All Rights Reserved

"Shoghakat =20= church of 1694 was built by Prince Aghamal Shorotetsi on the site of an early chapel to one of S. Hripsime's companions. Near Shoghakat is a small, ruined single-aisle chapel of the 5-6th c." (Source: Rediscovering Armenia Guidebook)