Monday, March 15, 2010

Ghazanchetsots Cathedral, Shushi, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic

IMG_0378, originally uploaded by raffikojian.

Ghazanchetsots Cathedral (Armenian: Սուրբ Ամենափրկիչ Ղազանչեցոց Եկեղեցի), also known as the Cathedral of Christ the Savior and the Shushi Cathedral, is an Armenian church located in Shushi, Nagorno-Karabakh. It was built between 1868 and 1887 and has a facade of white limestone. Its architect, Simon Ter-Hakobyan, intended the church to resemble Etchmiadzin Cathedral. In front of the west entrance is a freestanding three-story bell tower, constructed in 1858. Large statues of angels blowing trumpets stood at each corner of the bell tower's second story. However, they were destroyed during the Nagorno-Karabakh War when Shushi was under Azeri control.
The cathedral has seen a number of uses over the years. Its use as a functioning church ended after the Shusha pogrom of 1920. During the Soviet period period it was used as a granary, and then as a garage. During the Nagorno-Karabakh War, Azerbaijani forces used the cathedral as a GRAD munitions storehouse until May 1992, when Shushi was captured by Armenian forces. In the years after that capture the church was repaired and renovated. Replica angel statues were made to replace the destroyed originals; an image of one forms part of the coat-of-arms of Shushi. In 1998 it was re-consecrated as a church, and it is the main cathedral and headquarters of the Armenian Apostolic Church's Diocese of Artsakh.

"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step." -- Lao Tzu
Copyright © Demetrios the Traveler


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