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Author Topic: Restoration of Haghartsin Monastery  (Read 3565 times) Average Rating: 0
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Salpy
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« on: June 02, 2010, 03:27:14 PM »

Haghartsin is an ancient and famous monastery that had fallen into great disrepair.  Its restoration is nearing completion.  The first video below shows the monastery just a couple of years ago.  You can see in the second video how much work has now been done.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak0A2m4eurY&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/user/ArmenianChurch#p/u/8/muI9H2AWbcQ



The following description is from the first video:



Haghartsin is a 13th century monastery located near the town of Dilijan, Armenia. It was built between the 10th and 14th century; much of it under the patronage of the Bagratuni Dynasty.

St. Astvatsatsin Church in Haghardzin (1281) is the largest building and the dominant artistic feature. The sixteen-faced dome is decorated with arches, the bases of whose columns are connected by triangular ledges and spheres, with a band around the drum's bottom. This adds to the optical height of the dome and creates the impression that its drum is weightless. The platband of the southern portal's architrave is framed with rows of trefoils.

The sculptural group of the church's eastern facade differs in composition from the similar bas-reliefs of Sanahin, Haghpat, and Harich. It shows two men in monks' attire who point with their hands at a church model and a picture of a dove with half-spread wings placed between them. The umbrella roofing of the model's dome shows the original look of the dome of Astvatsatsin church. The figures are shown wearing different dresses — the one standing right is dressed more richly than the one standing left. The faces, with their long whiskers, luxuriant combed beards and large almond shaped eyes, are also executed in different manners. These are probably the founders of the church, the Father Superior and his assistant.

St. Astvatsatsin Church Gavit
The gavit of St. Astvatsatsin Church is severely damaged. The ruins show clearly where it stood; however, the walls are almost completely destroyed.

St. Gregory Church
The oldest large structure of the complex, the St. Grigor Church, is accessible through its gavit.

St. Gregory Church Gavit
The twelfth-century gavit abutting St. Grigor Church is of the most common type of plan. It is a square building, with roofing supported by four internal abutments, and with squat octahedral tents above the central sections, somewhat similar to the Armenian peasant home of the "glkhatun" type. The gavit has ornamented corner sections. Decorated with rosettes, these sections contain sculptures of human figures in monks' attires, carrying crosses, staffs, and birds. The framing of the central window of Haghardzin's gavit is cross-shaped. Placed right above the portal of the main entrance, it emphasizes the central part of the facade.

One of the half-columns along the right hand wall towards the back has come forward, showing that it is hollow. According to legend, this was swung open and shut in the past and monastery riches were hidden inside at times of war and invasion.

St. Stepanos Church
The small St. Stepanos Church dates back to 1244.

Bagratuni sepulchre
The Bagratuni sepulchre is where some of the Bagratuni royalty are buried.

Like the Haghpat's refectory, the refectory of Haghardzin, built by the architect Minas in 1248, is divided by pillars into two square-plan parts roofed with intersecting arches.

The walls are lined with stone benches, and at the western butt wall, next to the door, there is a broad archway for the numerous pilgrims to navigate. Decoration is concentrated only in the central sections of the roofing, near the main lighting apertures. The transition from the rectangle of their base to the octagon of the top is decorated with tre- and quatrefoils. The low abutments determine the size of the upstretched arches. The proportionally diminishing architectural shapes create the impression of airiness and space.

Today this space has large wooden log tables and chairs, and is where receptions take place after marriages or baptisms at the monastery.

An ornamental carving of a thirteenth-century khachkar is placed next to the southern door of St. Astvatsatsin church in Haghardzin.
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2010, 03:29:11 PM »

Glory to God for its restoration.
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Salpy
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« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2010, 03:37:05 PM »

A couple of more articles:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haghartsin_Monastery

http://www.himnadram.org/index.php?id=22241&archid=1724

The first article has the same info as the first video above.  It has some nice pictures with it though.  The second article is about the remarkable donor who made the restoration possible.
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« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2010, 07:44:06 PM »

I know it may be asking too much since the Armenians were not riddled by iconoclasm like it did for the Eastern Romans. Can you tell me if Iconographic expression is a demand in monastery practice? If not what theologically constructed images are visually acute for Armenian Christians?
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« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2010, 08:03:32 PM »

Thank you for sharing, Salpy. And glad to see it being restored.
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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2010, 08:22:56 PM »

I know it may be asking too much since the Armenians were not riddled by iconoclasm like it did for the Eastern Romans. Can you tell me if Iconographic expression is a demand in monastery practice? If not what theologically constructed images are visually acute for Armenian Christians?

The use of icons in the Armenian Church was discussed a bit here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,21473.0.html
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« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2010, 08:27:35 PM »

Salpy what exactly is monasticisim like in the Armenian Church?
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Salpy
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« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2010, 08:46:08 PM »

We don't have any monasteries here in the US, so I've never seen it first hand.  The only monasteries that I know of are in Armenia, Jerusalem and Lebanon.  Armenian monasticism was in decline during the twentieth century as a result of the Genocide and then Communism.  There seems to be a revival now, though.   Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2010, 02:57:01 AM »

Salpy,

How strong is the monastic movement in the Armenian Church?
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Salpy
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2010, 03:06:34 AM »

All I know is that there is a revival.  I really can't tell you how many active monasteries there are right now.
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