Kirants Monastery, Kirants, Armenia
Kirants Monastery is located in the Tavush Province of Armenia, about 12 km southwest of Kirants village. The monastic complex was founded in the 13th century. It includes three churches, two porches, a refectory, dwellings and utility structures. The monastery was surrounded by a fortified wall (now in ruins) with vaulted gate opening in the south-west. Most of the structures are built of brick and trimmed stone.
The main church of the monastery was built in the 13th century. It’s a rectangular domed hall with two pairs of pylons and two-storey side-chapels on both sides of the altar. The church is crowned with octahedral drum, decorated with six-winged star and diamond shaped glazed tiles. The two entrances of the church open into the vestibules.
Two single-nave brick made churches attached to the main church from north and south. The refectory built of untooled sandstones and cobble-stones situated westward of the main church. It’s a vaulted hall with three arches. The refectory of Kirants monastery is one of the important monuments of the Armenian medieval secular architecture.
The main church and the refectory were covered with frescoes inside. «Ascension» scene is portrayed on the dome, scenes from the Old Tastament — in the lower part of the drum, and 4 evangelists are portrayed on the pendentives. Judging by the fresco fragments with Georgian and Greek inscriptions preserved on the walls the monastery refers to the Armenian Chalcedonian branch. The exterior and interior decorations of the monastery combine both Armenian and Georgian architecture traditions.
Remains of dwellings, some utility structures and ancient cemetery are found in the monastery territory.
By Natalia Ghukasyan, www.building.am