Katoghike Church, Talin, Armenia
Katoghike church which is also known as Talin Cathedral is situated in the northern part of Talin town (Aragatsotn Province). Historical chronicles do not contain any records of the church construction. Having analyzed architectural and artistic features of the church building the historians concluded that it dated from the second half of the VII century. It’s supposed that Katoghike was built by princes of Kamsarakan family. Some of the researchers think it was erected during the period when the Armenian Church was forced to adopt Greek orthodoxy.
Katoghike church refers to the type of vaulted basilicas. Its exterior is notable for luxurious sculptural decorations. That’s reason why Katoghike differs from the other V-VII cc. Armenian churches which used to be modest and even austere. The interior is decorated with frescoes which were painted by the order of Movses Ekeghetsapan. Well-known frescoes such as « Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem» and «Jesus in Glory» are among them. A large part of the frescoes have not been preserved, and today you can only see their fragments above the main altar.
The church was seriously damaged caused by the 1840 earthquake: its dome and south-west part were destroyed. In 1947 the church was partially reconstructed. From 1970 to 1974 the drum of the dome and the roof were overhauled.
During the reconstruction were found the ruins of medieval mono-nave vaulted chapel. It`s supposed that there was a burial vault under its floor. There were also found a lot of tetrahedral high reliefs and sculptures.
By Natalia Ghukasyan, www.building.am