Saint Mesrop Mashtots Church


icon-mapOshakan 0226, Republic of Armenia

The Saint Mesrop Mashtots Church is located in Oshakan town (Aragatostn region). It is the leading church of Aragatsotn diocese and in the beginning, it was a chapel which was built by Vahan Amatuni, on the tomb of Mesrop Mashtots, in 443. Mashtots was the founder of the Armenian Alphabet and one of the most important public figures of the Armenian history.

After his death (441) Commanders Vahan Amatooni and Hmayak Mamikonyan transferred his body to Oshakan town and after that, on his tomb, the chapel was built. A short time after, the church collapsed and after 12 centuries  Philopos Aghbakatsi Catholicos renovated the church, but unfortunately, 200 years ago it collapsed too. Finally, Gevork 4th Catholicos built a new type of Basilica church on the basis of the chapel in 1875-79. 

The new monastery had three entrances from southern, northern and western parts. The exterior facades are designed with a decorative arcade. The mausoleum of Mashtots remained under the church. The cylindrical two-story bell tower was built in 1884, it is a building with 8 columns with a dome, the entrance of it is from the altar.

This bell tower position and the structure still remains one of the unique samples of the Armenian architecture. H.Minasyan decorated the church's interior with frescoes in 1960, which are considered to be the best works of the Armenian monumental art of 20th century.In one of them is Mesrop Mashtots holding the Armenian Alphabet. On the left part of the fresco is Mesrop Mashtots surrounded with his pupils, on the right part is Sahak Partev sitting on the thrown.

The tomb of Vahan Amatuni is also situated in the area of the church where was constructed the monument in 1880. The building of the school is located on the southern side of the church which was built in 1913.  During the 1960s, Vazgen A Palthcyan and Ghazarosyan Brothers renovated the are of the church, the mausoleum of Mashtots and built a monument of the Armenian letters, in front of the mausoleum entrance.

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