Monastery of St. Stepanos

The Monastery of St. Stepanos Vachar is located on the left tributary of the Khachenaget, on one of the mountain ranges on the left high bank of the middle valley of Vachar, about 500 m south of the ruins of the village of Vachar, southeast of the village of Tsmakakhokh in Martakert region.

The monastery of Saint Stepanos, consists of: the one-nave basilica of St. Stepanos and as it turned out from the results of excavations from the two-storey tomb-chapel of St. Stepanos, the vestibule adjacent to the west of the chapel and the surrounding courtyards.

The gate adjoining the church from the north and the remains of a khachkar, verified by excavations, have also been preserved. towers, fortified with fence walls. Inside the fence, to the south and north of the main complex, other buildings have survived, outside the walls of the complex: Traces of large cemeteries, stretching from south to north.

The first bibliographic mention of the Church of St. Stepanos in Vachar can be found in the diary of Catholicos Yesayi Hasan-Jalalyan of Aghvan (1701-1728), in which the Catholicos gives examples of building protocols for the church and the chapel (partially and approximately). It is clear from these records that the church was built in 1229. It was built by Hasan-Jalal, Prince of Khachen, on the occasion of the "appearance" here of the remains of St. Stepanos and the chapel on the tomb, his wife is Mamkan (1251).

Excavations have shown that the limestone floor of the chapel, two rows of the southern wall and the walls of the southern apse, stones of the first row of double arches have been preserved. The whole structure is made of leggings. with finely ground limestone. A sculptural parapet of windows was found; the borders of the western entrance are decorated with a decorative column calibration.


«Diocese of Artsakh» (2009), Erevan, 411 pp.

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