Discovering Armenia: Surp Astvatsatsin Church of Karbi (photos)

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Surp Astvatsatsin Church of Karbi is located in the center of the village of Karbi, on the right bank of Kasakh river. The village of Karbi is mentioned in written sources since the 13th century. Karbi is known for its heroic resistance to Turkish troops in 1724, as well as for the fact that in the 2nd half of the 18th century the mint was located here, which provided an opportunity for merchants to mint their coins. The Church of the Holy Virgin of Karbi was built in 1691-1693, due to the efforts of a wealthy merchant from Karbi, Ayvaz. There is a mention of one of the builders of the church - the clerk Markos. 

Externally, the church is a three-nave basilica in a rectangular plan, with four inner central pylons. In the eastern part there is a semicircular altar with an avvon, on which both sides of the sacristy are placed. From the western facade the main entrance opens, framed by an ornamented arch of red tuff, with four khachkars (cross-stones) embedded into the wall. The second entrance opens from the south facade of the church. Here also three khachkars are inserted into the wall. All facades have small narrow rectangular windows. The roof is covered with stone slabs, and the small size of the dome, decorated with sculptural images, rests on the columns.

The church was built of black and gray smooth-tuff stones with lime mortar. From the east, two-story church-bell tower, built in 1338, is adjacent to the church.

To the east of the church there is a bell tower, built in the 13th century. It is assumed that on the site of the bell tower there was an old church, destroyed by an earthquake of 1679, after which a new church of the Holy Virgin Mary was built.

In the village of Karbi there is also a monument, erected in 1991, dedicated to the famous Armenian poet of the early 20th century, Vahan Tekeyan.

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