St. Astvatsatsin Church of Avetaranots


The church is located in the center of Avetaranots village of Askeran region, in a low-lying area.

Historical overview

According to the inscription on the front stone of the door, the church was built in 1651 (Barkhutariants 1895, 75). Shahen Mkrtchyan mentions that the church had numerous gospels, crosses and other relics with inscriptions dated 1671, 1661, 1650, 1659 (Mkrtchyan 1985, 178).

Architectural-compositional description

The church is built of rough and hewn stones (Fig. 1). This three-nave, vaulted church, as mentioned by V. Harutyunyan is one of the largest in its type (external dimensions: 15.3x27.3 meters) and in absolute dimensions it is inferior only to the church of the great hermitage of Tatev (Fig. 2).

Fig. 1 The general view of the church, photo by G. Sargsyan.

Fig. 2 The church plan, Mkrtchyan Sh., Historical and architectural monuments of Nagorno Karabakh, page 178, drawing 44.

The four pillars of the spacious prayer hall support the three parallel vaults, which are assembled under a gable roof. The garret-window opened in the central vault used to be crowned with a small-sized rotunda, which has not been preserved. On both sides of the main altar above the vestries there are “lodges”, which similarly to St. Gevorg Church of Noragavit, with their two arched openings face the prayer hall, but have a stepped entrance from the stage (Harutyunyan 1992, 401).

The condition before, during and after the war

Before the war, the church was completely standing, only the rotunda on the gable roof was missing. During the 44-day war, there were hot battles in the area of Avetaranots village, but there is no information whether the monument was damaged during the battles. There is also no information about the monument after the war.

Bibliographic examination

The first written information about the church is reported at the end of the 19th century by Bishop Makar Barkhudaryants (Barkhutaryants 1895, 75), whose testimonies about the dated inscription of the church are much valuable. The information and research on the monument are modest. Information about the architectural style of the church is presented by V. Harutyunyan (Harutyunyan 1992, 401), and some historical facts – in the works of Sh. Mkrtchyan (Mkrtchyan 1985, 177-178).



  1. Barkhutaryants 1895 – Barkhutaryants M., Artsakh, Baku.
  2. Harutyunyan 1992 – Harutyunyan V., History of Armenian Architecture, Yerevan, “Luys” Publishing House.
  3. Mkrtchyan 1985 – Mkrtchyan Sh., Historical and architectural monuments of Nagorno Karabakh, Yerevan, “Hayastan” Publishing House.
St. Astvatsatsin Church of Avetaranots
St. Astvatsatsin Church of Avetaranots
St. Astvatsatsin Church of Avetaranots