Odzun, Lori Region, Republic of Armenia
Odzun Church is located in the central part of Odzun town, Lori Region. It is one of the early medieval unique buildings that completely preserved the outside look. On the outside and inside walls of the church are lots of carved Armenian recordings. The style of the building belongs to domed basilica types of churches.
Odzun was built in 303-313 by Trdat 3rd and was blessed by Gregory Enlightener. The nowadays look of the church reached us from the 8th century. The Dome hasn’t been changed since the construction of the church. Here are nearly 25 sculpture remained from the 4th century. The most remarkable sculpture is considered to be “The Holy Mother of God with Jesus”.
The inscriptions prove that in the 1st century, one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus, Thomas visited this town and in the area of the church blessed priests and Catholics. He gave a name to the village – Odzun is the Armenian word "otsel" which means "to bless'. Before leaving the town, apostle Thomas buried Christ's swaddling clothes in the church's territory. The inscription is on the southern door of the church. But for having certain evidence about the clothes, the archaeologists removed one of the altar stones. Then the gap of the altar was filled with 3 large stone.
In the northern side of the church stands 10 meters an ancient monument which dates back to the 5th century. Its a double arched building standing on a stepped platform. Its niches are carved with columns decorated with high-reliefs. It is believed that this building was dedicated Smbat Bagratuni. The other theory claims that this is Smbat Bagratuni's gravestone.
There is ancient cemetery around the Odzun church and also gravestones and khachkars(cross-stones) which date back to the13th -20th centuries. The church was built by local light brown felsites stone which sparkles from sunshine with different shades.