Arkaz Holy Cross Church

Arkaz Holy Cross lies 8 km to the east of Vernashen village, in the Malishka river valley.

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Arkaz Monastery

Arkaz Holy Cross lies 8 km to the east of Vernashen village, in the Malishka river valley. It is located in Arkazn (Arkazan) (8th-20th cc.), which was a famous settlement in the Vayots Dzor region in Greater Armenia's Syunik province and was mentioned as early as  the 8th century.

Metal artifacts (a pot, a censer and a silver glass) dated to the 13th-14th cc. were uncovered in the area in 1992.

Arkaz is mentioned by historian Stepanos Orbelian over the death and burial of Stepanos Syunetsi in 735. 

The building was probably destroyed in 1857 and was built anew by Catholicos of All Armenians Gevorg IV Kostandnupolsetsi. The construction was completed in 1871 and the church was consecrated on Holy Cross holiday in 1872.

Holy Cross is of a domed hall type, built in dark blue polished sandstone. The church was surrounded by a wall, with congregation halls located inside. Outside and nearby the wall there were trade outlets.

To the north-west of the church is the cemetery. On the left edge of the highway stands a khachkar with a dominant position in the area.

The churchyard includes trapezium-shaped tombstones (19th-20th cc.) and khachkars carved of dark blue, rough basalt stone. 

The monastery was renovated in 2010-2011 (architect Andranik Sargsyan). The church and the guesthouse built in the 1960s were fully reconstructed. A refectory and a belly tower were added to the complex. The renovation was sponsored by Moscow-based fellow-villager Vardan Hayrapetyan.

The church was consecrated on Holy Cross holiday in September 2011 by Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II. Arkazy Holy Cross is an operating church.


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    How to reach Arkaz Monastery is located in Vayots Dzor region, 7 km east from Vernashen village.

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