Zvartnots Cathedral

Zvartnots Cathedral

Infobox World Heritage Site
WHS = The Archaeological Site of Zvartnots

State Party = ARM
Type = Cultural
Criteria = ii, iii
ID = 1011
Region = Europe and North America
Year = 2000
Session = 24th
Link = http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1011

Zvartnots Cathedral ( _hy. Զվարթնոց meaning "celestial angels") is a 7th century circular cathedral located about 15 kilometers west of Yerevan, approximately half way between the towns of Echmiadzin and Musalerr in the Armenian province of Armavir.


Between 643 and 652 the Catholicos Nerses III (nicknamed"the Builder") built a majestic cathedral dedicated to St. George at the place where a meeting between king Trdat III and Gregory the Illuminator was supposed to have taken place.

In 930 the church was ruined by an earthquake, and remained buried until its rediscovery in the early 20th century.

The site was excavated between 1900 and 1907, uncovering the foundations of the cathedral as well as the remains of the Katholikos palace and a winery.

The interior of the fresco-decorated church had the shape of a Greek cross with three aisles, while the exterior was a 32-sided polygon which appeared circular from a distance.

Modern scholars accept the conclusion of Toros Toramanian, who worked on the original excavations, that the building had three floors. [ [http://sketchup.google.es/3dwarehouse/details?mid=91fddd417d40070082e68c27a37513e8 3D Model of Zvartnots Cathedral] ]

Some sources claim that the Zvartnots cathedral is depicted upon Mount Ararat inone of frescoes of Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. This is not very likely,however, as the fresco was painted more than 300 years after destruction of the church.

Together with churches in Echmiadzin, Zvartnots was inscribed into UNESCO World Heritage list in 2000.

A drawing of the cathedral was depicted on the first issue of 100 AMD banknotes and its model can be seen in the history museum in Yerevan.



*cite book|first=Károly|last=Gombos|title=Armenia: Landscape and Architecture|year=1974|Location=New York|publisher=International Publications Service|id=ISBN 963-13-4605-6
*cite book|title=Medieval Armenian Architecture: Constructions of Race and Nation|first=Christina| last=Maranci|location=Louvain|publisher=Peeters Publishers|year=2001|id=ISBN 90-429-0939-0

External links

* [http://www.armenica.org/cgi-bin/history/en/getCollection.cgi?=ba=1=baz0008 Zvartnots at Armenica.org]
* [http://www.armeniapedia.org/index.php?title=Zvartnots_Cathedral Armeniapedia.org]
* [http://whc.unesco.org/sites/1011.htm Unesco]
* [http://www.lib.rpi.edu/dept/library/html/ArmArch/Zva.html Armenian Architecture]
* [http://www.world66.com/europe/armenia/zvartnots World 66]
* [http://www.armenianhighland.com/churches/chronicle442.html Armenian Highland]

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