Friday, 2 May 2014

Discovering Armenia 9 day circuit - Day 5 (mornin cont.) - The Odzun Basilica - The 20th of April 2014


As we reached the Odzun Basilica we realised it was also undergoing restoration works, similarly to many others we had visited before.
Being Easter Sunday there were quite a few village worshippers scattered around the surrounding yard awaiting the Sunday service which we would also partly listen to.
Considered one of Armenia's finest basilicas built in the 6th century though later reconstructed on the 8th century it stands amidst a graveyard where the clergy were burried.

One of its most notable features of the exterior carving was on the east façade above the central window where Christ could still be seen holding the gospel og St. John with angels placed below.

Beside the church one came across a rather exquisite and impressive 7th century funerary monument, said to be one of only two in this style in Armenia, comprising a stepped platform supporting two slim obelisk-shaped carved stelae set between two arches, which are divided into panels depicting, on the east and west sides biblical scenes together with the Christianity coming into Armenia, and on the north and south sides geometrical and floral motifs. 

We could barely see anything inside the three naved church as it was filled with incense, though i still managed to photograph the 2009 fresco in the apse depicting the Virgin and the child said to be in the same postures as the ones to be found on the carved imageabove the font in the North wall.

We strolled around for a while so as to feel the festive atmosphere and soon realised the church yard played an important role in these people's lives ...  who could be seen sitting around and discussing as if they were in any local park.

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