Images of exterior of Cathedral of Kars/Apostles Church/Kumbet Mosque, it is currently closed to the public as it is undergoing restoration.
Built during the reign of King Gagik in the late 10th and early 11th centuries AD and intended to be a copy of the cathedral of Zvartnots (in modern day Armenia). The architect of the Ani cathedral was commissioned to build Gagik's church but flaws in its design meant it was very unstable. Attempts to strengthen the church failed and it collapsed not long after. Gagik's famous church was lost until the excavations of Nikolai Marr revealed it's location.
Sadly due to time constraints further investigation and collection of images of this church were not possible during my visit.
Inscriptions on its outer faces give us the origins of the cathedral. Construction work began in 989 AD and after a brief hiatus in work was completed in 1001 AD. The city was captured in 1064 by the Turks who converted the cathedral into a mosque. It was restored to its Christian usage in 1124.
It has been significantly damaged in recent years by the use of explosives at a nearby mine on the Armenian side of the border. As a result significant sections of the Cathedral are now being supported by metal brackets.
Traces of the frescos that covered the Cathedral can still be seen in the whitewashed apse.
These are just general views of what remains of the city of Ani. These vistas of the city were taken from multiple vantage points around the city.
These are images of the headstones and inscriptions that litter the island of Aghtamar. Mostly they belong to the monks and occupants of the island that have lived there over the centuries. These do not mark the graves of those killed in 1915 dissolution and destruction of the monastery.
The Aghtamar monastery and cathedral that sit on Aghtamar island were built by Armenians in the 10th century AD. It existed as a monastic site and community until 1915 when the community was destroyed. By 1951 the whole site was abandoned, extensively vandalised and was set for demolition, fortunately it was saved. It has undergone extensive and somewhat damaging restoration in recent years often not sympathetic to the sites original construction. The carvings that adorn its outer walls are among the most fascinating aspects of the Cathedral.
The C5th cathedral of Bosra has a quatrefoil centralised floor plan terminating in the east end in a complex arrangement of a central apse, flanked by two chambers that then link through to two further small subsidiary apses to north and south. Therefore the east end is divided into five chambers, three being apsed and two that presumably functioned as sacristies or martyria.
In his History of the Church, Eusebius of Caesarea devoted the tenth book to Bishop Paulinus of Tyre. In it Eusebius repeated the oration that he delivered on the occasion of the dedication of Paulinus' new church in Tyre. In the mid 1990s an Israeli bomb destroyed an apartment block in the centre of the city. When the rubble was cleared away evidence for an early church was discovered. Its unusual floorplan with the altar placed on a central platform in the nave suggested that the structure was constructed before church planning crystallised in the post-Constantinian era and led to speculation that this newly revealed site was in fact the church of Paulinus.
The madrasa is an Islamic school that was built by Nur al-Din (1118-1174) on the apse of the former Byzantine cathedral of Aleppo. The capitals are very close stylistically to those at Qalat Seman, suggesting that the church was originally built in the second half of the fifth century. Beside the steps down into the madrasa is a large basalt block inscribed with Christian symbols and some Syriac words. Its placement seems designed to underline Islamic supremacy over the former Christian owners of the site.
Tags: Aleppo, Architecture, Basalt, Byzantine, C12th, C5th, Capital, Cathedral, Church, Inscription, Madrasa, Madrasa Halawiyeh, Nur al-DIn, Qalat Seman, Sculpture, Syria, Syriac, Syriac Inscription
Bolnisi Sioni church has the oldest dated inscription in the Georgian language on Georgian soil that states that the church was completed in 493 (the earliest securely dated Georgian inscriptions have been discovered in the Holy Land). The original inscription is now in the National Art Museum in Tbilisi, but a replica has been placed on the church wall. This tells that the building was completed by the end of the C5th and this is particularly notable given the exceptional size of the building. It is referred to as a five-aisled basilica. The central nave is flanked by aisles to the north and south, that end in presbyteries, but in addition doors lead on both the north and south sides to the same kind of semi-open arcades found at Nekresi. The northern aisle terminates in an apse, creating an al fresco chapel and is walled in to the south, east and west, but open to the elements on the north side. To the south, the central element of this arcade is open to the south, but the eastern and western extremities have been closed in to create two chambers at either end of the arcade. In addition there is a C17th belltower in the courtyard of the church. The church has received a new roof and parts of the architecture, particularly on the northern side, have recently been renovated.