Zvartnots Cathedral

The main church at this site was built around 650. It had three storeys and seems to have had 32 equal sides, quite a feat of engineering in itself. The whole of the cathedral precinct was destroyed in 930 by an earthquake and gradually became hidden under centuries of soil until it was re-discovered around a hundred years ago.       

What remains now is an semi-circle of pillars and a vast floor along with hundreds of massive stones from the three-storeyed church. The ruins are evocative of a time earlier than the church dates from, as the pillars look as though they belong to a temple rather than a church. The problem at Zvartnots is that the architectural experts can’t agree on what the church really looked like when it was standing between 650 and 930. Some of these experts even believe the scale model in the nearby museum is inaccurate. As that’s the case, I think it’s best to leave Zvartnots as it is, in ruins, and allow visitors to use their own imagination to reconstruct the church.  

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