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Armenia33 Sanahin monastery



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Sanahin was renowned for its school of illuminators and calligraphers. The two monastic complexes Sanahin and Haghpat represent the highest flowering of Armenian religious architecture, whose unique style developed from a blending of elements of Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture and the traditional vernacular architecture of the Caucasian region. These two Byzantine monasteries in the Tumanian region from the period of prosperity during the Kiurikian dynasty (10th to 13th century) were important centres of learning

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Armenia33 Sanahin monastery

  1. 1.
  2. 2. The name Sanahin literally translates as "this one is older than that one", presumably representing a claim to having an older monastery than the neighboring Haghpat. The two villages and their monasteries are similar in many ways, and lie in plain view of each other on a dissected plateau formation, separated by a deep "crack" formed by a small river flowing into the Debed river. As with Haghpat, Sanahin is frequented by an increasing number of tourists, due to its recent inclusion on the itineraries of numerous Armenian tour agencies (these two magnificent monastic complexes - included in UNESCO heritage list - are among the most outstanding examples of Armenian religious architecture) Sanahin bridge built 1195
  3. 3. The complex belongs to the Armenian Apostolic Church with numerous khachkars (stones with elaborate engravings representing a cross) and bishop gravesites scattered throughout it The Bell tower
  4. 4. Sanahin's bell tower was built between 1211 and 1235
  5. 5. The Bell tower is a three-story tower with small annexes and a multi-columned belfry at the top. Sanahin's bell tower was built between 1211 and 1235
  6. 6. Documentary evidence suggest that the structures date back to the reign of king Abbas Bagratuni (930s). The historians wrote that the first structure of the monastery, St. Astvatsatsin church, was built by Armenian immigrants from Byzantium who had rejected the Chalcedonian sect
  7. 7. Khatchkar detail Khachkars at Sanahin include one carved in 1192, commissioned by Queen Vaneni, who had Sanahin bridge built over the Debed River and memorial khachkar carved for her husband King Abbas Bagratuni, who died prematurely
  8. 8. Details of Queen Vaneni’s Khachkars (1192)
  9. 9. Khachkar known as Tsiranavor 1205-1222
  10. 10. Sanahin complex consists of five churches, two gavits, a cemetery, a seminary (academy), book depository, bell-tower, patrimonial sepulchers and other structures once encircled by a fortified wall. The St. Astvastatsin gavit erected in 1211
  11. 11. The gavits front the two churches (St. Astvatsatsin and St. Amenaprkitch), on their west end and are the largest structures at Sanahin, unique features of Armenian religious architecture. The St. Astvastatsin gavit erected in 1211
  12. 12. The St. Astvastatsin gavit erected in 1211
  13. 13. The St. Astvastatsin gavit erected in 1211
  14. 14. The Seminary or “Magistros academy” is set in a gallery at the end of the St. Astvatsatsin gavit and was an original work of civil architecture built in two stages, at the end of the 10th and the beginning of the 11th
  15. 15. The structure includes closely spaced niches in the walls, presumably for students to sit during lectures.
  16. 16. It is named for one of its teachers, the renowned 11th c. Armenian philosopher, writer and scientist Grigor Magistros Pahlavuni (990- 1059), whose letters are a treasure trove of information on medieval theology, literature, mythology, politics, natural sciences and medicine
  17. 17. The St. Astvastatsin gavit and the Seminary or “Magistros academy”
  18. 18. The Seminary or “Magistros academy”
  19. 19. The St. Astvastatsin gavit erected in 1211 and entrance in St. Amenaprkitch gavit
  20. 20. The St. Amenaprkitch or inner gavit was built in 1181
  21. 21. There are four large, expressive columns that support the “yerdik” dome, an early example of the use of four-column construction also popular in peasant homes
  22. 22. The St. Amenaprkitch gavit
  23. 23. The columns divide the space into separate parts, their bases and capitals decorated with carvings and reliefs. St. Amenaprkitch gavit
  24. 24. St. Amenaprkitch gavit
  25. 25. St. Amenaprkitch gavit built in 1181
  26. 26. St. Amenaprkitch (Holy Redeemer or All Savior) gavit built in 1181
  27. 27. St. Amenaprkitch gavit built in 1181
  28. 28. St. Amenaprkitch (Holy Redeemer or All Savior) church
  29. 29. St. Amenaprkitch (Holy Redeemer or All Savior) Katoghike Church, completed in 966
  30. 30. The eastern façade of St. Amenaprkitch (Holy Redeemer or All Savior) Katoghike Church, bas-relief sculpture of Princes Kiurikeh (Giurgen) and Smbat (sons of Ashot the Merciful and queen Khosrovanush) Bagratuni
  31. 31. The St. Astvastatsin church
  32. 32. The vestibules and galleries served as tombs for noble families
  33. 33. The St. Astvastatsin church
  34. 34. Scriptorium and Grigor Chapel
  35. 35. Grigor Chapel This late 10th century chapel adjoins the south-east corner of the book depository was rebuilt in 1061
  36. 36. Scriptorium Sanahin's book depository and gallery are among the most interesting buildings at Sanahin
  37. 37. Scriptorium Sanahin's book depository was erected in 1063. Its large octahedral tent roof rests on diagonal arches set on half columns in each wall.
  38. 38. Scriptorium façade detail
  39. 39. Grigor Chapel and Scriptorium
  40. 40. Scriptorium
  41. 41. Scriptorium Haghpat and Sanahin are also connected to one of Armenia's greatest medieval bards, Sayat Nova, who studied as a child at Sanahin (1712-1719) and later lived at Haghpat first as a clergyman (from 1768), then as Grand Sacristan (1778- 1795)
  42. 42. Scriptorium detail
  43. 43. Sanahin was  renowned for its  school of  illuminators and  calligraphers
  44. 44. Sanahin  monastery  manuscript (in National  Museum, Kraków) Collection of  Breviary hymns  from the Sanahin  monastery
  45. 45. Seminary (Academy), St.  Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of  God) church and Scriptorium 
  46. 46. The ancient source
  47. 47. The ancient  source
  48. 48. The 12th-century bridge of Sanahin
  49. 49. The  bridge  of  Sanahin  is  one  of  the  famous  engineering  constructions  of  medieval Armenia. According to the inscription on one of the khachkars found  near the bridge, it was built at the end of the 12-th century by the Armenian  queen Vaneni, in commemoration of her husband King  Abbas (details)
  50. 50. Harutioun Shamshinian  - The bridge of Sanahin (1899)
  51. 51. Sound: Isabel Bayrakdarian - Oracion a Dios Text: Internet Pictures: Internet Sanda Foişoreanu Copyright: All the images belong to their authors Presentation: Sanda Foişoreanu