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St. Sarkis Vicarial Church
Standing up on the upper part of once Dzoragyugh Village and facing the old Yerevan fortress on the left bank of the River Hrazdan, a hermitage-monastery was functioning since the earliest Christian era. This spacious complex, surrounded by a high, fortified wall, was made up of the St. Sarkis, the St. Gevork and the St. Hakob churches, of the buildings of the patriarchal offices and school, of an orchard and of other buildings.
The St. Sarkis Church was the official seat of the Patriarch, whereas the monastery was the patriarchal inn for the guests.
The St. Sarkis Church, together with the hermitage-monastery, was destroyed by the big earthquake of 1679. It was, however, rebuilt on the same site during the rule of His Holiness Edesatsi Nahabet Catholicos (1691-1705). The present St. Sarkis Church was rebuilt once again during the period 1835-1842.
With its interior and exterior architectural features this church was the least good-looking among all the churches of the Old City of Yerevan. Its unsightly look did not correspond to its significance as the seat of the Araratian Patriarchal Diocese. During the rule of His Holiness Vazken I Catholicos of Armenians, the church underwent basic renovations and improvements. Based on a plan drawn up by architect Rafayel Israelian in 1972, the reconstruction works of the St. Sarkis Church began and the character of the old building of the church was basically preserved. The faç¡¤e was covered with Ani orange tufa rocks and engraved with of triangular niches. After R. Israyelian?s death, the construction works were taken over and continued by the co-author, architect Ardzroun Galikian. During the years 1971-1976, the interior look of the church was significantly improved. On the eastern part of the church, a gallery was added for the church choir. As a result of such additions, it was found necessary to remove the old dome and the old drum and to replace them by a much higher dome with polyhedral fan-shaped spire. The construction of the bell tower of the St. Sarkis Vicarial Church was completed in 2000.
The rebuilding of the St. Sarkis Church was made possible by the donation of the benefactors Sarkis Kurkjian and his children, residing in London.
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Saint Gregory The Illuminator Cathedral
St Gregory the Illuminator church was built by the initiative of the All Armenian Catolicose Vazgen I and was dedicated to the 1700th anniversary of the Christianity adoption in Armenia. The Patriarch personally placed a memorial stone in the place of construction of the church. The blessing ceremony of the church was performed by All Armenian Catolicose Garegin A in 1997 on the day of the Virgin Mary Annunciation feast, on April 7. The church was built by architect Stepan Qyurkchyan's project. It is a church complex comprised of three churches: Mother See, St King Trdat and St Queen Ashkhen chapels. A bell tower with more than 300 columns and a dome were built in front of the church. The remains of St Gregory the Illuminator are kept in the dome. The remains were brought by Garegin the Second in 2000 from St Gregpry the Armenian church in Naples. There are special halls for the receptions and on the ground floor of the church. The draft of the ground has the form of a cross and a facetted dome. It is the largest church among all Armenian churches. The total area of the complex is approximately 3.822 sq m and the highest point is the cross of the church which is 54 m from the ground. The complex is mainly built of monolite iron and concrete and faced with the light orange tufa from the historical capital of Armenia- Ani. With its magnificent look it is seen from many parts of the capital. The church was built by eminent mecenates Alec and Mary Manoukyans, their son Richard and daughter Luiz Simone Manoukyans. The chapels of St Trdat and St Ashkhen were built due to the donations of Nazar and Artemis Nazaryans, Gevorg and Linda Gevorgyans, and the bell tower was built by Eduardo Ernekyan's donation.
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St. John the Baptist Church
Church of St. John the Baptist was built on the height of Kond district, in 1710, in the place of a medieval church ruined as the result of a destructive earthquake. It was built by a rich man, Melik Aghamal, living in Yerevan. Like the other medieval churches, this is a three-nave basilic church. The rectangular plan of the church includes the prayer-hall and the main altar on the eastern side, attached to which are the sacristies.
Being concerned by the unattractive state of the church, in 1979, Architect Rafayel Israyelian presented to Catholicos of All Armenians Vazken I a project of basic reconstruction of the church. The plan was improved, but unfortunately, the architect passed away the same year. After 10 years author's son, Architect Areg Israyelian turned his father's initiative into a technical project, which was allowed to realize. The work project was prepared by the honored Architect Baghdassar Arzoumanian and designing engineer Avetik Tekevejian. In 1980s the Church was entirely reconstructed and restored under the direct leadership of the civil engineer Mikayel Hovhannissian. The dome and the walls of the church were faced with tuf stone. Large-scale works were realized inside the church. In the western side an additional storey was built for the choir, the floor was paved with marble, the wall of the main altar was ornamented, the interior was renovated. Also the bell-tower of the church was built. In 2000 the educational-cultural center "Hovhannes Kozern" was built nearby the church where foreign language and computer courses are organized, the school of Icon art functions.
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Holy Mother of God Zoravor Church
This is one of the oldest churches of Yerevan. At first, it was called “St. Astvatsatsin”, but later it was renamed “St. Zoravor” . The church is located in the Shahar District of Old Yerevan where the tomb and the Chapel of St. Anania the Apostle were previously located. This chapel was looked upon as a famous sanctuary.
With the generous financial support of the residents of Yerevan, Abbot Movses Syunetzi built a monastery complex that was made up of the said church, the chapel, as well as of chambers for the members of the congregation, and the diocese, all enclosed with fortified walls. Forming here a congregation, he established a monastic school.
The reconstruction of the monastery took place during the reign of His Holiness Pilipos, the Catholicos (1632-1635). However, fate had determined that the newly built monastery should not last long. It was completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1679.
Today's St. Zoravor Church was built in 1693 on the same site of the monastery after the said earthquake thanks to the donation of Khoja Panos, a very wealthy resident of Yerevan. An inscription recorded one hundred years after the building of the church, we learn that the church was renovated by Gabriel Haryurabet during the reign of His Holiness Ghukas Catholicos. The church is of the three-nave basilica type with no dome. On the eastern side of the prayer hall is the main altar with vestries at the northern and southern corners. Architecturally, the interior and exterior features of the church are characterized by a striking simplicity. To a certain extent the tri-vaulted porch in the western part of the church with decorative columns provides a substantial liveliness. On the flat parts of the outer walls there are beautifully carved khachkars (cross stones) bearing dates referring to the seventeenth century.
In 1889, a new building for the St. Anania Chapel was constructed on the northeastern side of the church with stairs leading to the graveyard on the eastern flank.
After serving different purposes throughout the period of the Soviet rule, the St. Zoravor Church was returned to the believers and thus became active. The St. Zoravor Church, under the auspices of the Mother See, saw thorough repair and improvement in the 70's. The decayed and falling parts of the walls and roofs were repaired and restored, a gallery was added for the church choir and a new house was built for the pastors. The Chapel of St. Anania also underwent restoration. The total cost of the repair and restoration of the church, as well as of the improvement of the surroundings were donated by the Holy See's benefactor Mr. Sarkis Petrossian, an Armenian resident of France.
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Holy Mother of God Kathoghike Church
The Katoghike St. Astvatstsin Church was located in the centre of the Shahar District (presently at the intersection of the Abovyan and Sayat-Nova streets). It was built after the big earthquake, during the years 1693-1695. Built with tufa-stone and cement, it belonged to the three-nave basilica type without a dome. Considering the sizes of its prayer hall (14.0 x 19.3 m), and its outside perimeter (16.4 x 28.4 m), it was perhaps one of the most capacious churches of old Yerevan. The church had entrances on both the southern and western sides.
The walls of the Church lacked the usual means of architectural expression, save the khachkars (cross-stones) that appeared on its walls here and there dating back to the years 1679, 1693, 1694, and 1695.
When the walls were demolished, old khachkars were found in them referring to the years 1472, 1641 and 1642. According to historical studies there had been a church on the same site of the present church traditionally called "St. Astvatsatsin Church".
The hypothesis related to the existence of this old church was completely confirmed during the demolition of the St. Katoghike Church, when the southern and northern walls to which the two vestries were annexed were opened. The oldest inscriptions found on these walls date back to 1264. There are inscriptions engraved on the western façade dating back to the years 1284, 1229 and to the sixteenth century, whereas on the northern walls the inscriptions refer to the year 1609. Consequently, a chapel has probably been built early in the 17th century at the western side of the St. Astvatsatsin Church at whose site the building of the St. Katoghike Church was erected toward the end of the same century. This finding was significant in that it confirms the conclusion that the St. Astvatsatsin Church was the only one of the churches of Yerevan that survived and stood firm after the earthquake.
The St. Astvatsatsin Church, which continues to bear the name of "St. Katoghike", is relatively of small size (5.4 x 7.5 m). Due to the very limited facilities it can offer for the required church rituals, it serves only as a chapel - merely a prayer house.
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Kanaker, St. James Church
The St. Hakob Church was built at the end of the XVII century at the site of the church, which was destroyed by the earthquake of 1679. The St. Hakob Church was reconstructed by the donation of Hakobjan, a wealthy resident of Tiflis. The Diocesan School named after St. Sahak Partev and conducted by Mesrop Archimandrite Smbatyants functioned at the church since 1868.
The St. Hakob Church belongs to the triple-nave basilica type with two couples of pillars, the chief altar in the eastern part and a couple of adjacent sacristies. The church has entrances from southern and western parts. Beautifully sculptured cross-stones (dated of 1504, 1571 and 1621) are fixed on the western front of the church.
In the God-denying years the church was locked and served as a storehouse. Later on, the St. Hakob Church was fundamentally restored by the government and began functioning in 1990.
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Malatia, Holy Mother of God Church
Before the Armenian Genocide of 1915 the population of the city Melitene-Malatia, of Minor Hayk, was 40,000, out of which 20,000 were Armenians. After the Genocide of 1915, the Armenians who had a narrow escape, were scattered throughout the world and found shelter in various countries of the world. In 1927, when the Armenians of Melitene-Malatia immigrated into the Soviet Armenia, they built a district in one of the peripheries of Yerevan and named the district Nor Malatia (New Malatia). Presently Nor Malatia (New Malatia) district is a prospering and flourishing district. The district's population is 178,00.
Many apartment houses, 10 industrial enterprises, among them the factory of silk of Nor Malatia (New Malatia), cultural center, schools, market, football school were built. In 1965, a clinical hospital was built in the district. Also a monument and park dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 were built and nearby the monument a church was built. The church was built in resemblance to the main Church of the historical city Melitene-Malatia and was named St. Mary, in honor of Holy Godmother. Architect of the church is Hrachya Gasparian. During the construction of the church earth was brought from the old Melitene-Malatia and was mixed to the mortar of the walls. The construction of the Church started in 1991 and was dedicated to the memory of the heroes, and among them Armenians of Malatia, who were martyred in the struggle for liberation for Artsakh. The construction started during the period of reign of Vazken I Catholicos of All Armenians. Initiators of the construction of the church were the district governor Vahan Zatikian and the staff of the district governor's office. Thanks to the proper and careful organization of the construction works by Vahan Zatikian, construction of the Church of St. Mary, Holy Godmother and the precincts came to en end. The church functions since 1998.
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Shengavit, Chapel of Holy Cross Zoravor
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Noragavit, St. Geroge Church
The St. Gevork Church is one of 10 churches in the ancient Noragavit village, which is preserved nowadays. The church is similar to the St. Zoravor Church by its plan and common volume-space composition. It is a triple-nave, domeless construction with the arched western vestibule and the 12-pillar belfry.
The prayer-hall has entrances from the vestibule and the southern front. Some frescos are preserved on the pillars and walls, which are of interest as late medieval samples of painting. Besides, the stones of the former construction were used during the rebuilding of the church. They can be seen on the walls of the northeastern sacristy and the prayer-hall.
The St. Gevork Church was rebuilt in the XVII century and was fundamentally restored in 1981-1984 under the auspices of the Holy See of St. Etchmiadzin. Mr. Edward Seferian, a benefactor from Argentina, also participated in the restoration of the Church.
- Nor Nork
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Nork, Holy Mother of God Church
The St. Astvatsatsin Church (it was called ‘"St. Marinos" before) is situated on the height of Nork district. Along with the other monuments of Nork the church was destroyed by the disastrous earthquake of 1679. At the beginning of the XX century the church was restored with the donations of Ter-Avetikian brothers, the well-known businessmen. In the 1930s, the church became similar to many others, the victim of the religion-persecuting policy.
Though the church was ruined, numerous pilgrims from Nork and form the other localities of Armenia visited it on the holidays dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.
After the proclamation of the new independence in Armenia in 1991, the residents of Nork started the reconstruction of the church with the financial support of the Compatriotic Union of Nork-Marash. In 1995 the St. Astvatsatsin Church opened its doors to the believers.
- Nor Nork
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Nor Nork, St. Sarkis Church
The construction of the St. Sarkis Church started in the Nor Nork district of Yerevan.in 1998. The church was built initiatively by His Holiness Karekin II Catholicos of All Armenians and was sponsored by Mr. Sarkis Gabrielian, an Armenian benefactor from New York. The construction of the church was carried out when Armenia went through hard times, when the Armenian people suffered social and economic difficulties, moral revaluation, spiritual consolation and God's support were needed.
The church was built according to the design of the architect Baghdik Arzumanian.
The painting of the Mother-of-God with the Christ child for the altar is by the great painter Grigor Khanjian. The newly erected St. Sarkis Church, with its architectural value, brings respect and honour to the authors of the project, to the builder-masters and to the Mother Church. Its circular form, polygonal and three-storeyed structure has been executed according to the traditional Armenian architectural style.
The height of the main dome is 23 metre. The prayer-hall is polygonal and bright, with a general area of 328 square metre. The chief altar is seen clearly from every corner. The pillars of the prayer-hall have the symbolic high reliefs of the 12 apostles. Niches are designed for candle-lighting. Special fans are placed above them to protect the walls of the church from smoke. The St. Sarkis is the first church in Armenia, which is heated by the heating system under the marble floor.
- Avan administrative district
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Avan, Holy Mother of God Church
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Church of Holy Martyrs of Davitashen
The Church of Holy Martyrs of Davitashen has been built nearby the bridge of Davitashen. The construction of the church started in 1996-1997, thanks to the sponsorship of Rouben Kevorkian. The Ceremony of Blessing of the foundation of the Church was performed by His Holiness Karekin I Catholicos, of blessed memory, on July 31, 1996. The First Divine Liturgy was celebrated on April 6, 2003, on the Sunday of Advent, by Rev. Fr. Khoren Maroukian, who up to date continues his spiritual service in the Church. The Church of Holy Martyrs is dedicated to the memory of the Armenian soldiers martyred for the sake of faith and Motherland. Benefactor Rouben Kevorkian considers the debt of his soul to perpetuate the memory of the martyred soldiers and communicate with God in the church and pray for the peace of souls of the martyred soldiers. Author of the project of the church is Levon Umedian. The church has a dome, it is built of grey tuf stone, the floor, the altar and the basin of the church are made of marble. The engraved wooden door is prepared by Panossian. The parish council functioning under the auspices of the Church realizes various humanitarian projects, including visits to the elderly house, orphanage, pilgrimages. Also a Youth Society functions under the auspices of the church.
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Church of the Holy Trinity of Yerevan
The construction works on the new church being built on the South-Western District of Yerevan started still in March 2001. The Church was built according to the project of the late Architect Baghdassar Arzoumanian thanks to the sponsorship of American Armenian national benefactor Mrs. Louise Simone Manoogian. On November 9, 2004, His Holiness Karekin II Catholicos of All Armenians presided over the ceremony of consecration of the crosses of the Church of Holy Trinity. The Church of Holy Trinity was consecrated by His Holiness Karekin II Catholicos of All Armenians on November 20, 2005.
- Nerkin Charbakh
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Church of Holy Cross of Yerevan
There was no Church in the community Nerkin Charbakh of Yerevan. Upon the decision of Yerevan municipality territory was allocated for the construction of a church. The construction of the Church of Holy Cross according to the project of Architect Hrach Gasparian started in 1996. In October 2006 the construction work came to end. The domed church is of traditional architectural style; on both sides of the nave are sacristies. There is no bell-tower, but its project is ready and soon the bell-tower will be built. The famous work of the artist Vardges Soureniants called “Hayouhi” is installed on the main altar. The initiator of the church construction and the benefactor is Khachatour Vardanian, a resident of the community. On November 10, His Eminence Archbishop Navasard Ktchoyan, Vicar of Araratian Patriarchal Diocese, consecrated four columns, sacristies, baptistery, icons and banner of the Church of Holy Cross.
On November 11, His Eminence consecrated also the main altar of the Church. Following the consecration the first Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the Church.