Khorakert monastery


The monastery complex of Khorakert tower lie to the north-west of Sanahin and Haghpat, on the western slope of Mt.Lalvar, near of the village Jiliza (Lori district). The once rich monastery was built in a dense forest, among age old trees, and this influenced the distinctive architectural and artistic features of its structures.

The main buildings of Khorakert are the main temples and the vestibule. They take up the middle of a plot extended from west to east and encircled with a stone wall. The main entrance-way to the monastery is a spacious vaulted premise which has wide arched passage-ways decorated with half-columns and ornamental carvings.

Within the confines of the wall are the survived remnants of a refectory and two small vaulted chapels. To the south of the chapels, near the wall, amidst trees, there is a wall connected with a secret passage leading to a gorge.

The main temple is the largest, the highest, and the most artistically expressive building of Khorakert (12th). As it is distinct from similar churches, it is lightly extended in length. The interior decoration of the main temple is rather modest.

The artistic and structural shape of the cupola is unique not only in Armenian but in the world architecture. The drum of the cupola has a decahedral shape, rare in Armenia. The cupola of Khorakert temple is an intermediate link between ordinary cupola and multi-column rotundas used in bell-towers.

The inside of the cupola is also most original. The constructive basis of its hemi-sphere is made up of three pairs of intersecting arches which form a six-pointed star.

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