Architettura Armena









AX’TALA / XIII century
The convent, also known under the historic name of Agarak or Plenjahank’ (copper mine) is enclosed in a fortified wall whose construction date is uncertain but is certainly later than the X century.
The convent buildings consist of three churches, a bell tower, some porches and the monks’ dwellings. The main church of St. Astvacacin takes the form of a domed engraved cross. Cycles of frescoes depicting the Universal Judgement, the work of the Georgian school at the beginning of the XIII century may be found inside. The external walls have various geometric designs, carvings and crosses in relief. The dome that collapsed in the XVIII century, was re-built in the next and later given a metal cover. A small rectangular room, accessible from outside, was added to the north wall. The west front is preceded by a portico formed by two spans and south of this is the second church, a rectangular-shaped chapel with a vaulted roof. This small, external construction is decorated by blind arches attached to groups of semi-circular columns probably built in the XIII century.
The third church, at a certain distance north-west of the main complex, is a Russian chapel, built at the end of the XIX century. The bell tower, a small square construction on two levels, also dating from this period, stands at the main entrance to the fortress.