Odzun Church

Nestled in the village of Odzun in Armenia's Lori Province, the historic Odzun Church has stood as a symbol of faith and artistic brilliance since the 5th-7th centuries. With a vibrant history and unique architectural features, this Armenian basilica attracts visitors seeking to delve into the country's rich religious heritage.

The current structure of Odzun Church, a pink felsite basilica with three naves, dates back to the 8th century when it was reconstructed by Hovhannes III Odznetsi, the katholikos of the time. The church features unusual arcaded cloisters on its northern and southern sides, as well as a barrel-vaulted roof and six columns supporting the rib vaulted tambour. Intricate carvings adorn the façades, depicting Christ, angels, and other biblical scenes.

One of the church's most distinctive features is a rare funerary monument, thought to be a gift from an Indian king around the 8th century. With ornate carvings of biblical scenes and geometric motifs, this monument is believed to commemorate Hovhannes Odznetsi, though its style suggests a 6th-century origin. It is one of only two such monuments in Armenia, the other located in Aghudi.

The village of Odzun itself has deep historical roots, with its name derived from the Armenian word for "to ordain." It is said that Thomas the Apostle ordained priests here in the 1st century and buried Christ's swaddling clothes, marking the site for the eventual construction of a small church. In the 4th century, King Tiridates the Great and Gregory the Illuminator built a basilica on the site, which was expanded and transformed over the centuries into the Odzun Church seen today.

Visit Odzun Church to experience a unique piece of Armenian history, showcasing the nation's faith, architectural prowess, and connection to the wider world through its captivating art and ancient ties.

Nearest to Odzun Church

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