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Sanahin 6: Grigor Chapel (3). Patrimonial Sepulchres (10) (12)

Grigor Chapel (3)

This late 10th century chapel adjoins the south-east corner of the book depository. It is a miniature dome structure, resting on a high three-stepped stylobate, circular on the outside with four apses on the inside. The combination of arched niches, and delicately ornamented narrow windows create a sense of movement to an otherwise stoic structure. The strip above the entrance is also beautifully ornamented. The chapel was rebuilt in 1061, the present dome built later, probably during the 1652 renovation of the complex.

Patrimonial Sepulchres (10) (12)

Patrimonial Sepulchres are a feature of Sanahin, built for members of ruling families. Individual architectural details give us a glimpse into the psyches of the interned; their beliefs and faith, their piety, even their love of opulence and grandeur.

Abutting St. Astvatsatsin are the foundations for the Sepulchre of Kiurikeh and David Kiurikian (10), two vaulted cells separated from each other, one built at the end of the 10th century, the other in the middle of the 11th century.

The 19th century “Argutinski- Dolgoruki” Sepulchre (12) is for a dynasty that descends from the Zakarians. In 1800, the Russian Emperor Paul I granted Russian nobility and title to the Argutinski-Dolgoruki (Arghutian-Yerkainabazuk) family. The family crest includes a shield with a flag symbolizing the family's hereditary line as military generals.

Descendants include prominent figures in the Imperial Russian era (Catholicos elect Hovsep Arghutian, Movses Arghutian-Yerkainabazuk, and others).

Original text edited by ICOMOS-Armenia and approved by the Holy See of Echmiadzin.