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Geghard Avazan Rock Cut Church
Middle East

Rock-cut church with spring

The first cave chamber, Avazan (basin), situated north-west of the vestry, was hewn in the 1240s in an ancient cave with a spring (a place of worship in pagan times).
It is entirely dug out of the rock and has an equal-armed cruciform plan. The interior is lined by two crossed arches with a central stalactite dome. An inscription records that it was the work of the architect Galdzak, who also constructed the other rock-cut church and the jhamatuns within a period of some forty years. His name is inscribed at the base of the tent decorated with reliefs showing pomegranates.
The main rectangular space of the church is crowned with a tent and complicated with an altar apse and two deep niches, which gave the interior an incomplete cross-cupola shape. Two pairs of intersecting pointed arches, forming the base of the tent, rest on the half-columns of the walls. Just as in the vestry, the inner surface of the tent is hewn in the graceful shape of stalactites which also decorate the capitals of the half-columns and the conch of the altar apse. The decoration of the southern wall is most interesting compositionally. Carved on it are small triple arches with conchs of various shapes, connected at the top and at the bottom by a complicated and finely carved floral ornament.

photo: Zeiss Loxia 21mm
original size 29000x14500

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Copyright: Flaviodmt76
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 13000x6500
Taken: 08/08/2018
Uploaded: 17/09/2018
Updated: 14/02/2019


Tags: rock; church; chapel; religion; travel; interior; lights; river; architecture; archeology; history; art; zeiss; sony; loxia
More About Middle East

Modern civilization began right here in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. Also known as the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia, this is the place where, six thousand years ago, agriculture, writing and mathematics were brought into widespread use.The term "Middle East" comes from the British navy, which used it to describe the countries on the trade route from Europe to India and China. Everything from Afghanistan to Morocco may possibly be classified as "middle eastern", depending on whom you ask -- and when.Only a partial list of past Empires in the middle eastern territory includes Sumeria, Babylonia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire!When northern Europe was still lurking about in slimy cold stone castles playing chess, the Middle East was enjoying the flowers of poetry, luxurious craftsmanship, music and literature. In fact, the Renaissance in Europe was partly inspired by stories brought back from the middle east by travelers along the trade route.Strategic location, religious history and the world's largest supply of crude oil have kept the Middle East at the center of world activity for centuries. The saga continues.Text by Steve Smith.

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