Arakelots monastery


The monastery of Arakelots (of the Apostles) in the Tavush district is a group of monuments built in the 12th and 13th centuries. Built on the left bank of the River Kirants, it lies on the top of a thickly wooded eminence. It consists of two churches, a vestibule, and a group of annexes, all enclosed with enormous walls provided with turrets and constructed of huge-stones quarried in the mountain. In its architectural conception, the roofing of the vestibule (13th century) is of particular interest. Above a square, shaped and created by intersecting arcades, the roof is constructed according to the «Hazarashen» method, commonly used in the erection of Armenian popular dwellings, except that here stone is used in place of wood. This method involves the closing of a square by the placing of stone slabs across the angles of the square, touching adjacent sides, making squares one on top of the other, alternately at 45 degrees to each other.

Also remarkable is the khachkar of St.Karapet for the sustained artistic heights of its sculptured ornamentation characteristic of 13th century.

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