Yeghegis settlement

Yeghegis (Yeghegik) is one of the oldest settlements in Vayots Dzor region, once part of Armenia's Syunik province. It was the seat of the crown princes of Syunik in the 9th-11th cc.


Yeghegis Settlement

Yeghegis (Yeghegik) is one of the oldest settlements in Vayots Dzor region, once part  of Armenia's Syunik province. It was the seat of the crown princes of Syunik in the 9th-11th cc.

The settlement was destroyed during the invasion of Seljuq Turks and lost its political significance. It was reconstructed under the rule of the Orbelian dynasty in the 13th-14th cc. and became their administrative center.  A number of valuable historic monuments were built in Yeghegis and in the vicinity. 

Zorats St. Astvatsatsin (also known as St. Stepanos) Church lies to the east of the village. Constructed in 1324-1331 by Bishop Stepanos Tarsayitch of Syunik, grandson of Prince Tarsayitch Orbelian, the church is remarkable for its unique plan.

It has an altar and two chapels, but no hall under roof. The western facade features three vaulted openings; the front square served as a prayer space for soldiers going to battle. It was reconstructed in 1970-1976.

The domed St. Nshan (also known as St. Karapet) church, located at the southern ­­edge of the village, was built in the XIII century and reconstructed in 1976. The lintel over the entry to Tarsayitch Orbelian's castle with the statues of the prince and his wife, Mina Khatun, are also located in the vicinity. 

St. Astvatsatsin Church is a three-nave domed basilica with four pylons. It was reconstructed in 1703 on the ruins of an older church, with the latter's architectural peculiarities preserved.

The village also boasts the remains of the small domed Catoghike church which dates back to the 9th c. The Orbelian dynasty's cemetery (13th-14th cc), next to this panel, features exquisite khachkars and tombstones that are among the finest monuments in Yeghegis.   

To the south is Hostun settlement (the historic Vostnik village) with its three-nave basilica church (17th c.). The inscribed stones in the walls and the khachkars prove the existence of an older church.  

Yeghegis is also home to a 13th-14th cc Jewish cemetery preserving around 60 tombstones with inscriptions in Hebrew and Aramaic. In 2000-2003, a joint Armenian-Jewish expedition team led by Michael Stone, David Amid, and H. Melkonyan conducted excavations in the area. 

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    How to reach From the M10 highway that connects Martuni at Sevan Lake to the north and Yeghegnadzor in Vayots Dzor region to the south, when you arrive at village Shatin, turn east for approximately 7.5km.

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