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Tsiranavor, Avan, Yerevan

Katoghike Tsiranavor Church of Avan (Cathedral Church of the Holy Mother of God, Avan) is the oldest church known that falls within the municipal boundaries of contemporary Yerevan. It is located in the Avan district in the east of the city, north of the road leading to Geghard and Garni. The building is a centrally-planned with a quatre-lobed interior, but is square on the outside. It dates to the end of the sixth century and, as with Zvartnots and Yereruyk, it stands on a stepped platform - although in this case there are only 2 steps. The church was later renamed Surb Hovhannes (St. John) and today is a ruin missing the upper portion of the building with only one of the 4 smaller linking conches that joined the 4 main lobes of the building still extant. The site is concealed down a narrow alleyway and stands on a small patch of waste ground surrounded by domestic buildings and a small auto repair business making it exceedingly difficult to find.

Type: Architecture
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Cathedral of Kars/Apostles Church/Kumbet Mosque

Images of exterior of Cathedral of Kars/Apostles Church/Kumbet Mosque, it is currently closed to the public as it is undergoing restoration.

Type: Architecture
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Church of St Gregory of King Gagik

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.

Type: Architecture
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Ani Cathedral

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.

Type: Architecture
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General views of Ani and immediate surroundings

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.

Type: Archaeological Site
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Aghtamar cemetery

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.

Type: Sculpture
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Aghtamar monastery and the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

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.

Type: Architecture
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Bosra Cathedral of SS. Leontius and Bacchus

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.

Type: Architecture
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The Church of Paulinus, Tyre

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.

Type: Architecture
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Madrasa Halawiyeh

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.

Type: Architecture
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