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Saint Sarkis Cathedral


History

Located in the northern part of Dzoragyugh village, Saint Sargis Church is a part of what was once one of the earliest Christian monasteries. This large complex, surrounded by a high wall, included Saint Sarkis, Saint Gevork and Saint Hakob churches, the buildings of the patriarchal offices and schools, an orchard and other buildings. The St. Sarkis Church was the official seat of the Patriarch, whereas the monastery was the patriarchal inn for the guests.

St. Sarkis Church along with the remaining monastery, were destroyed during a devastating earthquake in 1679. It was restored, however, during the rule of His Holiness Edesatsi Nahabet Catholicos (1691-1705). The current church was restored once again from 1835-1842.

In terms of its architectural features, this church was not as good-looking as other churches in the old city. Its unsightly look did not match with its significant role as the seat of the Araratian Patriarchal Diocese. During the rule of His Holiness Vazgen I Catholicos of Armenians, the church was renovated and underwent basic improvements. Reconstruction work began in 1972, but the main features of the old building were preserved. During the years 1971-1976, the interior of the church was thoroughly improved. A gallery for the church choir was added to the eastern part of the church. These kind of additions made it necessary to replace the old dome and drum with a higher dome and a polyhedral fan-shaped spire.

Points of Interest