Architettura Armena










AMAŁU NORAVANK' / XIIth-XIVth centuries
This complex located two kilometers from the village of Amału in the mountain district of Mikoyan was built by the Orbeli princes of Siwnik'. It is encircled by a square fortification and includes two churches, a gavit and a two storied strutture which may have been a family tomb.
The main church dedicated to St. John the Precursor (Karapet) is of the domed hall type with two storied corner rooms; it was built between 1221 and 1227. The gavit of this church was built in 1261 by prince Smbat Orbelian; it is a square room without free standing columns, and with a pavillion shaped roof. The east entrance is decorated by a semi-circular tympanum with bas-reliefs representing Christ and the Virgin. The adjoining church of St. Gregory covered by a barrel vault dates from 1275. The church of the Mother of God inserted into the southern portion of the surrounding wall is a curious two storied strutture once surmounted by a cylindrical lantern which has now disappeared. It was built in 1339 by prince Burt'el Orbelian. The rectangular ground-floor may have been the family tomb. The upper floor with a cruciform plan was a chapel. The west wall of this strutture is of particular interest. It is largely composed of two superposed portals and a double exterior staircase leading to the upper floor. The two tympana represent the Virgin and Child between two angels and a Christ in the act of blessing.
The complex was restored in 1948-1949.