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Akhtala, Armenia

In the Lori district of Armenia, a village named Akhtala, is a place which has preserved many remarkable historical monuments. In St.Gevorg's hill area discoveries were made and exscavations of 210 stonechest tombs were found. Discovered items were dated around VII-VI B.C. There are also several architectural monuments preserved in Akhtala. The famous Akhtala's fortress, built in the 10th century, while maintaining Kyurik Bagratouni's government. The fortress's northern part is strenghened by overhanging pyramidal walls. Walls, made with huge, bazalt, peglike stones, are connected to each other through firm pyramidal, three-storey towers, rising from the both sides of the main entrance. Inside Akhtala's fortress there is a monastery which consists of 3 churches, a bell-tower, hall and stonemade dwellings. The fortress's main church - St.Astvatzatzin (Holy Virgin) (VIIIc.), has a rectangular schemed structure with cruciform vault. From inside walls are covered with frescos, which represent separate chapters of the New and the Old Testament. St.Mariam sitting on the throne is painted in the main absid, and among other saints in the row there is St.Grigory the Illuminator (first Catholicos of All Armenians). Other Akhtala's monuments are St.Trinity monastery (consisting of 2 churches and 2 chapels), St.Gevorg church (XIIIc.), two twin churches (XIIIc.) located to the west from Akhtala fortress. (


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