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Ptghnavank, Ptghni, Armenia

Ptghnavank (also known as Ptghni temple) is one of the most remarkable monuments of early Medieval Armenian architecture. Temple located in the Kotayk Province of Armenia, in the village of Ptghni. It was built by Prince Manuel Amatuni at the end of 6th and the beginning of 7th century (exact data is unknown).

In spite of restoration works carried out in 1940 the monastery is partially destroyed. Northern wall, part of a southern wall and an eastern arch supporting the dome still exist but the ceiling and cupola have collapsed.

Ptghnavank is one of the oldest examples of a domed hall churches in early Medieval Armenia. The width of the structure is 15,7m and the length - 30,4m. The altar apse was flanked by two square side chapels, each with a niche. Four mighty pilasters, connected by lofty arches, defined the central square. The dome was supported by massive pylons.

Ptghnavank once had rich decorations. The walls were decorated with vegetable (pomegranate, olive branches, bunches of grapes, lilies, etc.) and geometric ornaments. Ptghnavank is also notable for its relief sculptures, depicting human beings, birds and animals. On the southern facade of the church one can see reliefs of Holly Mary surrounded by angels and apostles. Other reliefs depict Manuel Amatuni hunting and his son Sahak Amatuni who is fighting a lion. Various birds (geese, ducks, pheasant, and eagles) are depicted on the plat bands of windows of the northern facade.


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