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Aragatsotn Region

West of Armenia

Attractions of Aragatsotn Region

Amberd is a 7th-century fortress located 2,300 meters (7,500 ft) above sea level, on the slopes of Mount Aragats at the confluence of the Arkashen and Amberd rivers in the province of Aragatsotn, Armenia. The name translates to “fortress in the clouds” in Armenian. It is also the name incorrectly attributed to Vahramashen Church, the 11th-century Armenian church near the castle. The village of Byurakan is 6.4 kilometres (4.0 mi) from the site of Amberd.

Type: Niche-buttressed square plan without columns
Location: Talin
Date:VIth or VIIth century 

Church of St. John in Mastara, late 6th century, in the Taleen district. A sub-dome square, with apses extending on its four sides, culminates in an imposing dome that governs the whole of the church’s interior. Four large squinches in combination with overhanging arches provide a solid foundation for the huge octahedral drum of the dome. Its architectural conception heralds another stage in the development of simple cruciform compositions, a transition to complex church designs like those in Avan and St Hripsimeh in Etshmiadsin. The works of medieval architecture in Mastara include, among others, numerous khatchkars (cross-stones).

The church was built in 1026 for Prince Vahram Pahlavuni, one of Armenia’s great sparapets (commanders), who in 1042 defeated Byzantine and Seljuk armies at the Bagratuni capital of Ani, temporarily preserving the security of the kingdom. The domed structure sits between the castle and the edge of the promontory, next to the Arkashen River wall.

The church is an example of a (then) new type of religious building in Armenia; cruciform halls with four small two–story chambers in the corners topped by a large drum and tent-roof dome that overwhelms the lower space.

The dome is supported on its square by corner columns and sweeping arches, with the exterior round drum divided into 12 facets by pairs of thin columns supporting peaked arches in multiple layers of cornice work and the gabled umbrella roof. Its exterior is simple, even severe, with minimal decor except edging around the portal and windows, and the patchwork of crosses carved into the facade.

Kasagh Basilica of the Holy Cross, built during the 4th century, one of the oldest surviving churches in the Armenian highland. The church is undated and was partly restored in 1877.

According to Simeon Erevantsi (18th century), the Monastery of Saghmosavank was built in the 4th century by the initiative of Saint Grigor Lusavorich (Gregory the Illuminator).
The Monastery of Saghmosavank was built in 13th-century and located in the village of Saghmosavan in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia. Like the Hovhannavank monastery which is five kilometers south, Saghmosavank is situated atop the precipitous gorge carved by the Kasagh river.
The main structures of the monasteries erected by Prince Vache Vachutyan—the Church of Zion in Saghmosavank (1215) and the Church of Karapet in Hovhannavank (1216-1221)—belong to the same type of cross-winged domed structure with two-floor annexes in all the corners of the building. Subcupola space predominates in the interiors of both churches, which is reflected in the exterior shapes of these structures.

Byurakan is a major village in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia, located on the slope of Mount Aragats. The village is home to several historical sites including the 7th-century Artavazik Church, the 10th-century basilica of Saint Hovhannes and a huge 13th-century khachkar monument. It is also home to the Byurakan Observatory.

Saint Mesrop Mashtots Cathedral is a 19th-century church in the Oshakan village of Aragatsotn Province, Armenia. Currently, it is the seat of the Aragatsotn Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The church is famous for being the burial place of Saint Mesrop Mashtots; the creator of the Armenian alphabet.
The church was built between 1875 and 1879 by Catholicos Gevork IV of Armenia, replacing an old chapel built by Prince Vahan Amatouniback in 443. The belfry was added in 1884.[1]
During the recent years, the entrance to the church was decorated with 36 khachkars (cross-stones), depicting the 36 original letters of the Armenian alphabet created by Saint Mesrop.

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