Katoghike Church, Yerevan

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Holy Mother of God Kathoghike Churchh
Սուրբ Աստվածածին Կաթողիկէ Եկեղեցի
The Katoghike church in Yerevan, Armenia.jpg
Katoghike Church, Yerevan is located in Armenia
Katoghike Church, Yerevan
Shown within Armenia
Basic information
Location the intersection of Abovyan Street and Sayat-Nova Avenue,[1] Kentron District,
Armenia Yerevan, Armenia
Geographic coordinates 40°11′04″N 44°31′08″E / 40.184369°N 44.518978°E / 40.184369; 44.518978Coordinates: 40°11′04″N 44°31′08″E / 40.184369°N 44.518978°E / 40.184369; 44.518978
Affiliation Armenian Apostolic Church
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Chapel
Status Active
Architectural description
Architectural style Armenian
Completed 13th century

Officially the Holy Mother of God Kathoghike Church is a small medieval Armenian church in the centre of the ancient Shahar district of Yerevan, associated with the present-day Kentron district of Yerevan, which is the Armenian capital.


The altar

The surviving church dates back to the 13th century. After the 1679 Yerevan earthquake, a large basilica named after the Holy Mother of God was built between 1693 and 1695, in the ancient Shahar district of Yerevan. It was founded on the western side of the Katoghike chapel. It was built of typical Armenian tufa stones and cement and was of the three-nave basilica type with no dome. With its prayer hall measuring 14.0 x 19.3 meters, and an outside perimeter of 16.4 x 28.4 meters, it was considered one of the most capacious churches of old Yerevan. The church had entrances on the southern and western sides.[2]

In 1936, the basilica church of the Holy Mother of God was demolished under the Soviet rule to make way for residential buildings at the Sayat-Nova Avenue. During the demolition, the 13th-century chapel of Katoghike was discovered encased within the structure of the large basilica. After protests from archaeologists, the chapel was preserved. Many old khachkars (cross-stones) were found in the walls of the demolished church dating back to the 15th and 17th centuries.

However, the demolished basilica itself had been built on the foundations of an old church known as the Holy Mother of God. The hypothesis that this old church had existed was completely confirmed during the demolition of the Katoghike Church, when the southern and northern walls to which the two vestries were annexed were opened. The oldest inscriptions found on these walls date back to 1264. There are inscriptions engraved on the western façade dating back to the years 1284, 1229 and to the sixteenth century, whereas on the northern walls the inscriptions refer to the year 1609. Consequently, a chapel has probably been built early in the 17th century at the western side of the Holy Mother of God Church at whose site the building of the Katoghike Church was erected toward the end of the same century. This finding was significant in that it confirms the conclusion that the St. Holy Mother of God Church was the only one of the churches of Yerevan that survived and stood firm after the earthquake.

The current Holy Mother of God Church, which continues to bear the name of Katoghike, is relatively of small size (5.4 x 7.5 m). Due to the very limited space it can offer for the required church rituals, it serves only as a chapel and prayer house.

Saint Anna Church and the new residential complex of the Catholicos[edit]

The new complex in August 2014

A new religious complex is currently under construction to the north of the Katoghike church. The controversial development [3] includes a large church, named after Saint Anna, and a building designated to serve as the Yerevan residence of the Catholicos.

On July 4, 2009, a ground blessing service was conducted by Catholicos Karekin II for the construction of Saint Anna Church and associated complex. The ceremony was attended by President Serzh Sargsyan; President of the Constitutional Court, Gagik Harutyunian; Mayor of Yerevan, Gagik Beglarian; Members of the Brotherhood of Holy Etchmiadzin, Members of the Supreme Spiritual Council national and benefactors Hirair Hovnanian and his wife.

The construction costs of the new church and the pontifical residence are being paid for by Hirair Hovnanian, an Armenian benefactor from the United States. The architect is Vahag Movsesyan.[4]


  1. ^ Katoghike church
  2. ^ Katoghike church at Yeravan.am
  3. ^ Artifacts Unearthed at Controversial Church Construction Site http://hetq.am/eng/news/507/
  4. ^ "The residence of the Catholicos of All Armenians will be constructed within 2 years". PanArmenian News. Retrieved 2009-07-04. 

External links[edit]