Zvartnots Temple, Vagharshapat

4.4
#4 of 6 in Historic Sites in Vagharshapat
Zvartnots Cathedral is a 7th-century centrally planned aisled tetraconch type Armenian cathedral built by the order of Catholicos Nerses the Builder from 643-652. Now in ruins, it is located at the edge of the city of Vagharshapat in Armavir Province of Armenia.HistoryZvartnots was built at a time when much of Armenia was under Byzantine control or influence and during the early invasions of Armenia by the Muslim Arabs. Construction of the cathedral began in 643 under the guidance of Catholicos Nerses III (nicknamed Shinogh or the Builder). Dedicated to St. Gregory, it was located the place, where a meeting between King Trdat III and Gregory the Illuminator was supposed to have taken place. According to the medieval Armenian historian Movses Kaghankatvatsi, the cathedral was consecrated in 652. From 653 to 659, Nerses was in Tayk and the construction of the cathedral continued under Anastas Akoratsi. Following the Arab occupation of Dvin and the intensifying wars between the Byzantine and Arab armies on the former's eastern borders, Nerses transferred the patriarchal palace of the Catholicos from Dvin to Zvartnots.
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70 reviews
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  • Built in the 7th Century, this Cathedral is supposedly the site where the nation of Armenia was the first to accept Christianity as its official religion. It was destroyed in the 10th Century...  more »
  • Zvartnots cathedral is located no far from Yerevan (nearly 5 km). It was built in 7th sentury and was stood until the end of the 10th century. It was one of the highest buildings in its period. The...  more »
  • as part of the tour with church and monastary Echmiadzin ,you can see how old was that place partly renovated and 70 % from original stones to be recognised by Unesco its a nice place full....  more »
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  • Enjoyed the visit. Required some imagination to see what the cathedral might have looked like. Visit the museum to see if you guessed correctly.
  • Awesome place! Details about history, which part of the temple / church is it from are provided in each spots. Don't miss the mini museum at the back!
  • A beautiful and interesting place, but honestly looks better in pictures than in person. Also, try to go solo. Going with a guided tour was a bit frustrating- 20 people taking constant selfies, not caring at all about the history of the place.
  • Magical view to The Ararat mountain
  • Zvartnots Cathedral  (Armenian: Զուարթնոց տաճար (classical); Զվարթնոց տաճար(reformed); literally 'celestial angels cathedral') is a 7th-century centrally planned aisled tetraconch type Armenian cathedral built by the order of Catholicos Nerses the Builder from 643-652. Now in ruins, it is located at the edge of the city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin) in Armavir Province of Armenia. Zvartnots was built at a time when much of Armenia had just recently been overrun by the Muslim Arabs who were progressively occupying the Sasanian Persia/Iran of which Armenia was a part at the time. Construction of the cathedral began in 643 under the guidance of Catholicos Nerses III (nicknamed Shinogh or the Builder). Dedicated to St. Gregory, it was located at the place where a meeting between King Trdat III and Gregory the Illuminator was supposed to have taken place. According to the medieval Armenian historian Movses Kaghankatvatsi, the cathedral was consecrated in 652. From 653 to 659, Nerses was in Tayk and the construction of the cathedral continued under Anastas Akoratsi. Following the Arab occupation of Dvin and the intensifying wars between the Byzantine and Arab armies on the former's eastern borders, Nerses transferred the patriarchal palace of the Catholicos from Dvin to Zvartnots. The exterior church design, featuring basket capitals with Ionic volute mounts, eagle caitals, and vine scroll friezes reveals the influence of Syrian and northern Mesopotamian architecture. Zvartnots remained standing until the end of the tenth century, but historical sources are silent as to the cause of its collapse. A close copy of the cathedral was erected at Aniout by Trdat the Architect under the reign of Gagik I Bagratuni during the final decade of the tenth century. The contemporary Armenian historian Stepanos Taronetsireferred to Zvartnots when describing the church that Gagik I had inaugurated as "a large structure at Vałaršapat [Vagharshapat], dedicated to the same saint that had fallen into ruins.
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