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Surb Sargis Church, Mastara, Armenia

Surb Sargis Church (mentioned as Surb Astvatsatsin in some historical sources) is situated in Aragatsotn Province of Armenia, not far from Mastara village, in the center of ancient Shenik settlement, in 6 km. southwest from the road leading to Zovasar.

The church was built in the 7th century. Projecting rectangular apse distinguishes the church from other domed cruciform constructions of that period. In 1903 the church was reconstructed and transformed into a three-nave basilica. Only a part of northern wall and the altar apse preserved from ancient construction. The church in its original look was photographed at the end of 19th century. The church built of surface-tooled tufa stone had a form of "free cross" and was crowned by cupola leaning on octahedral drum. The only entrance was on the western part. The portal was decorated with semi-columns.

Now the church is partially destroyed. Three-layer cornices with horseshoe shaped arches, trapeziform teeth and semi-cylinders preserved on western facade. Geometric ornaments and initials of the constructors preserved on the walls. According to the monogram carved near the eastern window the architect of the church was Argam.

By Natalia Ghukasyan,


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