Gandzasar - | Silk Road Armenia



1238 y.
Gandzasar monastery (Martakert district of Artsakh) has been built between the years of 1216-1238. The foundation date of the vestibule built in its western side is unknown, but according to the inscription here the building was finished in 1266. From historical sources of 9-10cc it is known that Gandzasar old church served as a political and religious meeting place for Artsakh and the surrounding Armenian regions. In a short period Gandzasar became an important point in the  cultural life of the region, the residence of Eastern Armenian patriarchate and etc. In the end of 17th century it was already the centre of the movement of struggle for liberation. The Catholicos Yesayi, a fighter devoted to the battle of national liberation, became the head of that movement. Gandzasar complex consists of  the primarily church and the vestibule. St.Hovhannes Mkrtich church has a cruciform interior and rectangle domed exterior (sizes of the hall 12,3×17, 75), the four corners of which occupy the two-story side-chapels. The unknown architect of the temple has created a memorable drum. It is divided into 16 triangular grooves, which are outlined with ornaments. Each triangle has a separate sculpture at its base. The vestibule has been the grave-house of Hasan-Jalalyan’s family. Inside the stony ramparts of Gandzasar, in the northern wing of the church there are eight small and two large rooms. A larger  building is situated in the eastern part. In the past it served as a school, then a cloister-hotel. There are around 200 inscriptions on the walls of the temple. The head of Hovhannes Mkrtich (John the Baptist), brought by Armenian merchants from Venice, is buried under the altar of Gandzasar.