St. Hripsime Church of Vardashat


St. Hripsime Church is located in the center of Vardashat village of Hadrut region (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1 The church from the southwest, 2013, photo by G. Budaghyan.

Historical overview

Vardashat village is located 3 km west of Hadrut town. In historical literature it is referred to as Vordnashat.

Speaking about the village, M. Barkhudaryan mentions: “The residents of Vordnashat have moved from Mil town, the land is fragile and less productive…” (Barkhutarian 1895, 46). In the Soviet period the name Edisha was used, in the post-Soviet period it was officially named Vardashat. Since October 2020 Vardashat has been under Azerbaijani occupation.

Architectural-compositional examination

It is a single-nave hall with a rectangular plan. It has a semicircular altar with two vestries. The bema is currently destroyed. It is built of local gray limestone. It is vaulted internally, has a gabled roof outwardly, which used to be covered with asbestos sheet during the Soviet years. It has three windows on the eastern, western and southern sides. The entrance, surrounded by hewn stones, opens from the south (Fig. 2). The year 1896, which is probably not the year of the construction of the church, but rather the year of its reconstruction, has been preserved on the lintel with decorative ornaments, since the year of 1695 has been preserved on the sundial on the southern wall (Fig. 3). We read on the inscribed stone embedded in the southern wall: “This is the name of the church” (Fig. 4). A tombstone with a simple cross is placed on the immediate threshold of the entrance (Fig. 5).

To the north of the church, the old cemetery is preserved with standing tombstones.

The church was used for economic purposes during the Soviet years.

Fig. 2 The church entrance, 2013, photo by G. Budaghyan.

Fig. 3 The sundial, 2013, photo by G. Budaghyan.

Fig. 4 The inscribed stone preserved on the southern wall, 2013, photo by G. Budaghyan.

Fig. 5 The tombstone at the entrance threshold, 2013, photo by G. Budaghyan.

The condition before, during and after the war

The church was in good condition, it was not damaged during the hostilities of the first and second Artsakh wars. There is no information about the current condition.


1․ Barkhutarian 1895 – Barkhutarian M., Artsakh, Baku.

St. Hripsime Church of Vardashat
St. Hripsime Church of Vardashat
St. Hripsime Church of Vardashat