St. Poghos-Petros Church of Shalva
Shalva village is located in Kashatagh region of the Artsakh Republic, 53 km to the north from Berdzor, on the bank of the Shalva tributary of the Hakari River. St. Poghos-Petros Church dated to the 17th-18th cc. is located in the southern side of the village (Figs․ 1, 2).
Fig. 1 St. Poghos-Petros Church of Shalva from the west, photo from website https://mapio.net/pic/p-44981882/.
Fig. 2 St. Poghos-Petros Church of Shalva from the south, photo from website https://mapio.net/pic/p-44981882/.
There are no historical records on St. Poghos-Petros Church of Shalva. For the first time, the church was referred to in the 5th issue of the “Corpus of Armenian Inscriptions” where it is mentioned that “There is a vaulted church in Shalva village in whose walls numerous khachkars and gravestones are used” (CAI 1982, 195) (Figs. 3, 4).
Fig. 3 St. Poghos-Petros Church of Shalva from the west, photo by S. Karapetyan, website “Armenian historical monuments”.
Fig. 4 The window of the altar of St. Poghos-Petros Church of Shalva from the outside, photo by S. Karapetyan, website “Armenian historical monuments”.
The church is built of rough stones and lime mortar. The structure is a vaulted one-nave basilica with an altar and a pair of apses on the eastern side. It has one entrance from the west and four windows – three from the east and one from the west. There is a niche for the baptismal font on the northern wall of the prayer hall. The structure has a ratio of 13.50x8.45 meters in external dimensions (Karapetyan 2001, 165) (Fig. 5). Numerous khachkars and tombstones were used in the walls, on which three inscriptions of the 17th century (1611, 1629, 1651) have been preserved.
Fig. 5 The plan of St. Poghos-Petros Church of Shalva, “Armenian cultural monuments in the region of Karabakh” by S. Karapetyan, page 166.
Fig. 6 The khachkar erected to the left from the church entrance, photo by D. Davtyan.
In the 5th issue of the volume “Corpus of Armenian Inscriptions”, three inscriptions are presented from St. Poghos-Petros Church (CAI 1982, 195). Researcher S. Karapetyan, in addition to describing the monument, also referred to the inscriptions and introduced some clarifications (Karapetyan 2001, 165).
- CAI 1982 – Corpus of Armenian Inscriptions, Issue 5, Yerevan.
- Karapetyan 2001 – Karapetyan S., Armenian cultural monuments in the region of Karabakh, Yerevan.
St. Poghos-Petros (Paul-Peter) Church of Shalva