Armenian Travel Bureau

Inbound travel to the Republic of Armenia

Armenia What to see? Monasteries and Temples Yereruyk Basilica

Yereruyk Basilica

West to Mastara, near the river Akhuryan, in the ancient village of Yereruyk (now the village Anipemza), not far from Ani, are located the ruins of the 5th century basilica.

It was built, most probably, through the efforts of the princes Kamsarakan, who owned this land at the time. A remarkable three-nave basilica - one of the most ancient Christian churches of Armenia - is in ruins and untouched by any significant alterations. Erected on an imposing stepwise basis, it presented a well-lit hall, divided into three naves by two rows of columns.

The main nave is three times wider than the lateral naves and, judging from the surviving parts of the western wall, until its collapse towered over their roofs. In ancient times the basilica was surrounded by a fortress wall, and, as the remains of several buildings indicate, it dominated the whole architectural complex, sprawling on the banks of a large artificial lake.

To the north of the village Anipemza is the village of Kharkov, from which the ruins of the ancient capital city Ani (now in Turkey) are perfectly visible. The Cathedral of Ani was once the most significant cult construction in the Armenian highlands. Now the once majestic domed basilica stands in ruins.

On a clear day, both mount Aragats, the highest peak in present day Armenia and mount Ararat, the highest peak in historical Armenia can be seen from where the church is located.

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