Yererouk

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Yereruyk
Երերույքի Տաճար 05.jpg
The ruins of Yererouk Basilica
Yererouk is located in Armenia
Yererouk
Shown within Armenia
Basic information
Location Anipemza, Shirak Province,
Armenia Armenia
Geographic coordinates 40°26′23″N 43°36′33″E / 40.439722°N 43.609167°E / 40.439722; 43.609167Coordinates: 40°26′23″N 43°36′33″E / 40.439722°N 43.609167°E / 40.439722; 43.609167
Affiliation Armenian Apostolic Church
Province Shirak
Status Ruined
Architectural description
Architectural type Basilica
Architectural style Armenian
Completed 4th-5th centuries
Specifications
Height (max) 100 feet 0 inches (30.48 m)

Yererouk (Armenian: Երերույքի տաճար, Yereruyki tachar), also Yereruyk or Ererouk, is an archeological site characterized by the presence of an ancient Armenian church near the village of Anipemza in the Shirak Province of Armenia. Yererouk was built on a plateau near the Akhurian River which defines the frontier with Turkey, about 5 km southeast of the ancient city of Ani.[1]

Because the basilica of Yererouk is one of the earliest surviving Christian monuments in Armenia, it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on August 25, 1995 in the Cultural category.[2]

The Basilica is considered one of the ancient examples of Armenian architecture referred to the paleo-christian epoch (IV-VI century) even if it was initially started in the 4th century,[3] then was postponed in the 5th century[4] and finally in the 6th century[5] because the Basilica isn't mentioned in any source, so the datations are hypothetic. However the most recent studies have analysed the architectural characteristics with the stratigraphic exams, the study of the sculptural decoration and epigraphy,[6] the comparation with similar churches in Syria.[7][8][9]

Etymology and history[edit]

Yererouk means quivering in the Armenian language. According to popular tradition, the name of the temple was derived from its unique architectural solution of the structure which seems quivering on its 6 columns for viewers from a distance.

Yererouk is one of the earliest examples of the Armenian church architecture and one of the greatest structures of the early medieval ages that partly survived. According to Toros Toramanian, Yererouk is a clear and perhaps the earliest example of the basilica style of the Armenian church buildings that are constructed on pillars.[10] The church was surrounded with thick walls. From the surrounding buildings, underground rooms and the water reservoir, it becomes clear that the church was the centre of a developed residential community.

Yererouk dates back to the 4th and 5th centuries. It is located in the Shirak canton of the Ayrarat province of Ancient Armenia. Not much is known about the founders of the basilica. However, the church was renovated during the 11th century by the efforts of King Hovhannes-Smbat's wife.

The Basilica[edit]

The building, with three aisles, structured with thick lateral walls, is one of the biggest Armenian churches of the period. With arcades on the north, west and south sides, two little chapels near the apse and two absidal niches at the end of the lateral arcades, the basilica in origin could be covered wooden trusses. The north-east chapel keeps the most part of two superimposed vaults which the superior is inclined (taller near the nave).[11]

Yererouk Basilica is similar Syrian basilicas in the architectural system (high angular towers protrunding on the West facade) and in the sculptural decoration (decorative band on the windows).

At the East end of the South facade there is a Greek inscription[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19] similar to the one in the Syrian church of Deir Sem'an at the end of the 5th century.

With Tekor[20] (end of 5th century) and Zvartnots, Yererouk Basilica is one of the rare Armenian churches totally built on a base of 5-6 steps like a crepidoma. The archeological excavations revealed the lack of a continuous platform under the building which foundations are directly on rock.

The Basilica was a martyrial sanctuary: an inscription on the pilaster at the north-east corner of the apse says: "martyrion [...] of the Precursor and the Protomartyr", that are Saint John Baptist and Saint Stephen.[21]

Along the south and north sides there are tympanum portal adorned with dentils with inscribed an arch, modeled with a banded cornice based on two columns with acanthus leaves capitals.[22]

The west facade is characterized by two windows like the ones on the principal facade, with different decorative elements and, in the high part of the facade, with a three-mullioned window that lights the nave.

The sculptural decorations, realized with the technique of bass-relief on the architrave and capitals in the apse and on the head of the arcades, give importance to the emblematic and apotropaic motive of the Maltese cross (with 4 identic limbs) inscribed in a medallion, sometimes decorated with animals and/or trees. The central crossed medallion is often completed by two lateral medallions made like rose-windows or daisies.

The Basilica had to be equipped with a painted decoration but now we could see them only on the apse window and on a composition on the west portal architrave in the south facade.[23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52][53][54][55][56][57][58][59]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Patrick Donabédian, Ereruyk: nouvelles données sur l'histoire du site et de la basilique, Mélanges Jean-Pierre Mahé, Travaux et Mémoires 18, Paris, 2014, p. 241-284.
  2. ^ The basilica and archaeological site of Yererouk (#), UNESCO World Heritage Centre, retrieved 2009-03-18 
  3. ^ Ererouk, Armenian Studies Program at California State University, Fresno, retrieved 2009-03-18 
  4. ^ Murad Hasratian, Early christian architecture of Armenia, Zakneftegazstroy Ed, Mosca, 2000
  5. ^ Patrick Donabédian, Ereruyk: nouvelles données sur l'histoire du site et de la basilique, Centre de Recherche d'Histoire et Civilisation de Byzance
  6. ^ Jean Claude Bessac, Observations sur la construction de la Basilique d'Ererouk en République d'Arménie in Syria, Beirut, Presses de l'Ifpo, 2012, p. 331-336.
  7. ^ H. Abich, Aus dem Kaukasischen Landern: Reisebriefe von Hermann Wien, 1896
  8. ^ H. GH. Alishan, Shirak, Venezia, 1881
  9. ^ T. Thoramanian, Niouter haykakam djhartarapetouthian matmoutian (Tools for the study of Armenian architecture history), Erevan, 1942
  10. ^ Armen, Garbis (1992), An Architecture of Survival, p. 71, ISBN 0-9695988-0-7 
  11. ^ A. Khatchatrian, L'architectture Arménienne du IV au VI siècle, Paris, 1971, pp.45-48;95-96
  12. ^ K. J. Basmadjian, Les inscriptions arméniennes d'Ani de Bagnair et de Marmachen, Revue de l'Orient chrétien, vol. III
  13. ^ H. H. Eprikian, Patkerazard bnashkharhik bararan (Illustrated Geographic Dictionary), vol. I, Venice, 1900, pag.694
  14. ^ G. Hovsepian, Kartez hay hnagroutian (Atlas of Armenian antiques), Shoghakat, n.1, Vagharshapat, 1913, pag.179
  15. ^ S. Djalaliants, Djhanaparhordouthioun i Metzn Hayastan (Journey to Major Armenia), vol. III, Tiflis, 1858, pag.15
  16. ^ K. Kostaniants, Vimakan Taregirk (Corpus Inscriptionum Annuarum), Biblioteca Armeno-Georgica, St. Petersburg, 1913, pag.21
  17. ^ H. Manandian, Knnakan tesoutioun Hay zoghovrdi patmouthian (Critical Antology of the history of Armenian people), vol. III 2^ part, Erevan, 1960, pag.273
  18. ^ H. A. Orbeli, Divan Hay vimagrouthian (Corpus Inscriptionum Armenicarum), vol. I, Erevan, 1966, pag.58
  19. ^ H. Shahkhatouniants, Storahrouthioun Kathoghikè Edchmiatzni yev hing garavatsn Ayrarata (Description of Edchmiatzin convent and the five Regions of Ayrarat), vol. II, Edchmiatzin, 1842, pp.43-44
  20. ^ T. Thoramanian, Patmakan hay djhartarapetouthioun, Tekori dachar(i) (Architettura armena storica; il tempio di Tekor), vol. I, Tiflis, 1911, pp.50-52
  21. ^ D. K. Kouymjian, Ereroukj basilikaji patmoutian hetkerov (Le traccie storiche della basilica di Ererouk), vol.XLIII, Antelias, 1974, pp-296-310
  22. ^ G. Cubinasvili, Razyskanija po armjanskoy achitektury, Tiflis, 1967, pp.90-94
  23. ^ Aa.Vv., Architettura armena dal IV al XVIII secolo, Milan, 1968
  24. ^ Aa.Vv., Architettura medievale armena, Rome, 1968, pag.78
  25. ^ F. W. Bissing, Der persische Palast und die Turmbasilika, Studien zur Kunst des Ostens, Hellerau, 1923, pp.40-57
  26. ^ G. N. Cubinasvili, Bolnjskij Sion (Sion of Bolnisi), Tiflis, 1940, pag.149
  27. ^ P. Cuneo, Le basiliche paleocristiane armene, Corsi di cultura sull'arte ravennate e bizantina, Faenza, 1973, pp.222-233
  28. ^ F. De' Maffei, Armenien, Berlin, 1968, pag.341
  29. ^ S. Der Nersessian, Armenia and the Byzantine Empire, Cambridge, Mass., 1945, pp.63;86
  30. ^ S. Der Nersessian, The Armenians, London, 1969, pp.101-102
  31. ^ O. Kh. Ghalpakhtchian, G. A. Sarkisian, A. V. Vlasov, Architektura armenii (Armenian Architecture), vol. III, Moscow, 1966, pp. 208-212
  32. ^ V. M. Haroutiounian, S. A. Safarian, Pamjatniki Armjanskovo zodcestva (The Monuments of Armenian architecture), Moscow, 1951, pp.35-36
  33. ^ G. Hovsepian, Hay djhartarapetouthioun(i) Strzygowoskou nor ashkhathiamb (Armenian architecture according to Strzygowki studies), vol. I-II, Vagharshapat, 1921-1922, pp.291-292
  34. ^ A. I. Jakobson, Ocerk istorii zodcestvenii V-XVII vekov (About the history of Armenian architecture from 5th to 17th Century), Moscow, 1950, pp.12-17
  35. ^ A. Khatchatrian, Annexes des églises byzantines a plan central, Actes du XII° Congrès International des Etudes Byzantines, vol. III, Beograd, 1964
  36. ^ A. Khatchatrian, L'architecture arménienne, Vostran vol. I, Paris, 1948-1949, pp.35-51
  37. ^ H. Koepf, Armenische Architektur, Vienna, 1969
  38. ^ D. K. Kouymjian, Armenian Architecture (IVth-VIIth Centuries): A Reassessment on the Occasion of an Exhibition, Beirouth, 1973, pag.15
  39. ^ R. Krautheimer, Early Christian and Byzantine Architecture, Baltimore, 1965, pp.213-214
  40. ^ N. Ja. Marr, Ererujkskaja bazilika, armjanskij chram V-VI vv. (Ererouk Basilica, an Armenian temple in 5th-6th centuries), vol. XVIII, St. Petersburg, 1907
  41. ^ N. Ja. Marr, Materialy k istorii amjanskovo iskusstva v Sirake, Kamsarakanovskij period. Ererukskaja bazilika (Tools for the study of art history of Shirak Province. Period of Kamsarakan. Ererouk Basilica), vol. III, St. Petersburg, 1909, pag. 1091
  42. ^ N. Ja. Marr, Novije archeologiceskije dannye o prostrojkach tipa Ererujskoj baziliki (New documents about the structure of Ereouk Basilica), vol. XIX, St. Petersburg, 1909, pp.64-68
  43. ^ N. Ja. Marr, Ereruiskaja bazilika, armyanskij chram V-VI vv. v okrestnostjach Ani (Ererouk Basilica, the Armenian temple of 5th-6th century near Ani), Erevan, 1968
  44. ^ St. Mnatsakanian, Nikoghayos Mar(i) yev haykakan djhartarapethoution(i) (Nicola Marr and Armenian architecture), Erevan, 1969, pp.57-65
  45. ^ S. Mnatsakanian, N. Stepanian, Architectural monuments in the Soviet Republic of Armenia, St. Petersburg, 1971, pag.46
  46. ^ E. Neubauer, Armenische Baukunst vom vierten bis vierzehnten Jahrhundert, Dresda, 1970, pp.12-14
  47. ^ A. Sahinian, Isskustvo Armenii (Armenian art), vol. II, Moscow, 1973, pp.97-98
  48. ^ A. Sahinian, Kasakhi Bazilikayi djhartarapetoutioun(i) (The architecture of Kasakh Basilica), Erevan, 1955, pp.87-99
  49. ^ A. Sahinian, Haykakan djhartarapetouthioun(i) vagh feodalizmi darashrdchanoum, IV-VI dd. (Armenian architecture in the first era of feudalism, 4th-6th centuries), vol. II, Erevan, 1964, pp.105-110
  50. ^ A. Sahinian, Les basiliques a trois nefs de l'époque paleochrèttienne de l'Arménie, Bergamo, 1975
  51. ^ J. Schwieger, Neue Wege zur Erforschung von Ursprungsfragen altarmenischer Kirchenbauten, Vienna, 1927, pag.253
  52. ^ V. V. Sleev, Iskusstvo Armenii (Armenian art), vol. II, Moscow, 1960, pag.77
  53. ^ J. Strzygowski, Die Baukunst der Armenier und Europa, Vienna, 1918
  54. ^ j. Strzygowski, Origin of Christian Church Art, Oxford, 1923, pag.69
  55. ^ M. Thierry, L'architecture arménienne du IV au VI siècle, Paris, 1971, pp.457-458
  56. ^ N. M. Tokarskij, Architektura drevnej Armenji (Ancient Armenian architecture), Erevan, 1946, pp.49-53
  57. ^ N. M. Tokarskij, Po stranicam istotij Armjanskoj architektury (Along the pages of Armenian architecture history), Erevan, 1973
  58. ^ E. Utudjian, Mission technique en Arménie, Paris, 1962, pp.101-108
  59. ^ E. Utudjian, Armenian Architecture 4th to 17th Century, Paris, 1967, pag.35

External links[edit]