Khtzkonk Monastery

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Khtzkonk monastery
Khtzkonk Monastery.jpg
Khtzkonk in the early 20th century
Khtzkonk Monastery is located in Turkey
Khtzkonk Monastery
Shown within Turkey
Basic information
Location Digor district
Geographic coordinates 40°22′50″N 43°22′35″E / 40.380556°N 43.376389°E / 40.380556; 43.376389Coordinates: 40°22′50″N 43°22′35″E / 40.380556°N 43.376389°E / 40.380556; 43.376389
Affiliation Armenian Apostolic Church
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Monastery
Status Abandoned after 1920, partially destroyed by Turkish Army in the 1950s
Architectural description
Architectural style Armenian
Groundbreaking 7th century
Completed 13th century

Khtzkonk Monastery was a monastic ensemble of five Armenian churches built between the 7th and 13th centuries in what was then the Armenian Bagratid kingdom of Ani. It is now near the town of Digor, the administrative capital of the Digor district of the Kars Province in Turkey, about 19 kilometres west of the border with Armenia. The monastery is located in a gorge formed by the Digor River.

The monastery with its five churches was intact when photographed by the Armenian archaeologist Ashkharbek Kalantar in August 1920, just before Turkey captured the region from Armenia.[1] In 1959 the French art historian J. M. Thierry visited the site and found that four of the five churches had been destroyed, with only the Church of Saint Sargis surviving in a badly damaged condition.[2] According to local people, the churches were blown up by the Turkish army using high explosives, which was reaffirmed by citizens of Digor in 2002.[3] Their information is confirmed by the physical evidence on the site. The dome of the surviving church is intact but the side walls have been blown outwards; the destroyed churches have been entirely leveled with their masonry blasted into the gorge below. This is damage that cannot have occurred as a result of an earthquake, William Dalrymple remarked.[4]

Gallery[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Kalantar, Ashkharbek, Armenia From the Stone Age to the Middle Ages, Selected Papers, Paris, 1994, pp. 84-89.
  2. ^ (French) Thierry, Jean-Michel, "Notes Sur des Monuments Armeniens en Turque (1964)," Revue des Études Arméniennes, volume 2, 1965.
  3. ^ Hofmann, Tessa. Armenians in Turkey Today: A Critical Assessment of the Situation of the Armenian minority in the Turkish Republic (2002), 40.
  4. ^ Dalrymple, William , "Armenia's Other Tragedy," The Independent Magazine, 18 March 1989.

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