11 March, 2018 Aragatsotn Region 2676 Views

Karmravor, Tsiranavor, Spitakavor Churches

Karmravor Church
The most famous of the “three sisters” is Karmravor, a tiny jewel sitting in the midst of an early Christian/Medieval Cemetery. It was built in the 7th century. It’s a small church with a red dome because of which it has got its name – karmravor means reddish. The church was originally named Saint Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God). As to the entire building, it’s made of brown tuff. Despite its small size the church is especially interesting because it’s where Shukhonts Handwritten Bible gifted to the church in 1873 and the stunning Indian curtain dating to the 1790s are preserved. Other than that, it is considered the best structure of its type. The church is the first (and smallest) of three structures of its type built in Talin and Ashtarak regions in the 6th-7th cc.

Tsiranavor Church
The cruciform Church of Tsiranavor is presently not a functioning church and there are only the walls remaining. It, also, is a small church, and is called Tsiranavor because of the color of the tuff stone used in the construction – tsiranavor means featuring apricot color. The church was built within the 13th-14th centuries.

Spitakavor Church
The Church of Spitakavor is believed to be built within 540-557. It's presently in ruins. The church is called Spitakavor because of the whitish stone used in its construction.

Legend
There is a legend about these three churches, which has it that there were three sisters who were all in love with the same man. It is said that the elder two sisters decided to throw themselves off of a hill into the gorge so that their younger sister would marry the man and be happy. The younger sister, however, after learning what had happened also threw herself into the gorge. And it is said that one of the sisters was wearing a red dress, the other an apricot dress and the youngest a white dress. And there go the names of the churches. If you are interested what happened to the man, the legend has it that he became a hermit.

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