The Second Church of Stunis


The historical village of Stunis is located 2 km south of the village of Ghushchi (Tandzut) in the Kashatagh region (Lachin region) of the Artsakh Republic, on the left bank the Stunis, right inflow of the Aghavnaget River, on its south-eastern gorge.

Stunis was first mentioned among the tax-paying villages of Tatev Monastery, and in the 19th century the Kurds settled here, calling the village Sadinlar (Karapetian 1999, 139). The village has been uninhabited since the 1990s. The church is located in the upper part of the village, surrounded by ruined houses (fig. 1).

Fig. 1 General view of the church, photo by M. Khumaryan.

Historical Overview

There is no historical information about the church.

Architectural-Compositional Description

The church is a three-nave basilica with cylindrical vaults, which are taken under a two-pitch roof. The prayer hall ends in the east with a semicircular apse with single sacristies next to it from the south and the north. The walls are lined with large and small rough stones and lime mortar. Fragments of tombstones, khachkars and carved stones of different periods are embedded in the walls, both outside and inside. In its plan and spatial volumetric composition, it is similar to the churches of Mirik, Hak and Herik, and is a 17th-century structure like these. Inside the church, on one of the columns near the entrance, there is a damaged Armenian inscription. The church is plastered inside. The only entrance to the church is on the south side (fig. 2). Large rectangular windows open on the western, southern and eastern fronts (fig. 3). This was possibly done in the 19th century or is not excluded during the Soviet years, when the church, like the Armenian churches in other villages, was turned into a warehouse.

Fig. 2 The main entrance of the church, photo by M. Khumaryan.

Fig. 3 The western facade of the church, photo by M. Khumaryan.

The description of the church was done on the basis of a video made by Meruzhan Khumaryan in November 2020 in the village of Stunis, particularly in the area of the church (video 1, 2).

Video 1 The church from outside and inside, author. M. Khumaryan.

Video 2 Stunis village and church, author M. Khumaryan.

The State Before and After the War

The church was not damaged during the Artsakh wars.

There is no information about the monument after the Azeri occupation of the Kashatagh region in December 2020.


  1. Karapetyan 1999 – Karapetian S., Monuments of Armenian Culture in the Regions Occupied by Soviet Azerbaijan, Yerevan.


The Second Church of Stunis
The Second Church of Stunis
The Second Church of Stunis