Last modified: 2021-04-24 by ivan sache
Keywords: ashtarak |
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Flag and arms of Ashtarak - Images by Valentin Poposki, 10 January 2021, after a photo
The municipality of Ashtarak (18,834 inhabitants in 2011; 4,233 ha) is located 20 km north-west of Yerevan.
Ivan Sache, 31 March 2021
The coat of arms of Ashtarak features the Karmravor / Garmravor church.
The small church of Karmravor ("reddish hue") is located at Ashtarak on the northeast side of town. There is no exact date of construction known, however on the basis of its architecture it is considered to be from the 7th century. Karmravor was built by priests Gregory and Manas. There is an undated dedicatory inscription that begins on the south elevation and is completed on the north wall.
As of present day, Karmravor remains in a good state of preservation. It has managed to retain its roofing of clay tiles which are laid in mortar. Most recent restoration work is noted as taking place in the 1950s.
Karmravor is a very small domed church measuring 19 feet 7 inches by 24 feet 6 inches. This church belongs to a series of small churches built as free crosses. It has a horseshoe east apse which is rectangular on the exterior. The other three arms or bays are rectangular both inside and in their exterior. There are four squinches above the central square that complete the octagon of the drum and eight small squinches are used between the drum and cupola. Karmravor is simply decorated with geometric motifs (braids, zigzags of semicircles) and foliage. The cornices are of basket-weave sculpturing and the dome eaves are decorated with leaf design. Entrance to the church is from the west.
[Armenian Studies Program]
Valentin Poposki & Ivan Sache, 10 January 2021