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The forerunners of Gothic architecture are of Armenian origin

January 20, 2014

The belltower at Haghpat Monastery

The belltower at Haghpat Monastery

Trdat the Architect (circa 940s – 1020; Latin: Tiridates) was the chief architect of the Bagratuni kings of Armenia, whose 10th century monuments are the forerunners of Gothic architecture which came to Europe several centuries later.
After a great earthquake in 989 ruined the dome of Aya (Hagia) Sophia, the Byzantine officials summoned Trdat to Byzantium to organize repairs. The restored dome was completed by 994. Trdat is also thought to have designed or supervised the construction of Surb Nshan (Holy Sign, completed in 991), the oldest structure at Haghpat Monastery.
1544302_10151970829808043_993989217_n“ Even [Hagia] Aya Sophia, the cathedral, was torn to pieces from top to bottom. On account of this, many skillful workers among the Greeks tried repeatedly to reconstruct it. The architect and stonemason Trdat of the Armenians also happened to be there, presented a plan, and with wise understanding prepared a model, and began to undertake the initial construction, so that [the church] was rebuilt more handsomely than before.

Ani Cathedral moder by Toros Toramanian

Ani Cathedral moder by Toros Toramanian

In 961, Ashot III moved his capital from Kars to the great city of Ani where he assembled new palaces and rebuilt the walls. The Catholicosate was moved to the Argina district in the suburbs of Ani where Trdat completed the building of the Catholicosal palace and the Mother Cathedral of Ani. This cathedral offers an example of a cruciform domed church within a rectangular plan.

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3 Comments
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