Saint Mesrop Mashtots Church


icon-mapOshakan 0226, Republic of Armenia

St․ Mesrop Mashtots Church is located in the village of Oshaken (Aragatsotn region). Nowadays, it is the leading church of Aragatsotn diocese, which was initially built as a small chapel on the tomb of Mesrop Mashtots, in 443. Mashtots was the creator of the Armenian Alphabet and one of the most important figures of the Armenian history.

After his death in 441, commanders Vahan Amatooni and Hmayak Mamikonyan transferred Mashtots's body to Oshakan and, after some time, built a chapel on his tomb. The chapel collapsed and was renovated several times during its history. Finally, Catholicos Gevork IV built a new basilica church based on the chapel in 1875-79. 

The new monastery has three entrances from the southern, northern, and western sides. The exterior walls are designed with decorative arcades. The mausoleum of Mashtots is in a cell under the main altar. 

The cylindrical two-story bell tower was built in 1884. The tower has 8 columns with a dome, the entrance of it is from the altar. The position and the structure of the bell tower are very impressive and present a unique example of Armenian architecture

In 1961-1964 H.Minasyan and Henrik Mamian decorated the interior of the church with frescoes. They created the monumental fresco "Glory to Armenian Letters and Literature," which depicts the invention of the Armenian Alphabet, which is considered one of the best works of the Armenian monumental art of the 20th century.

In 1996, the school building near the church was completely rebuilt, and in 1997 the St. Mesrop Mashtots School was opened there. It is twօ-storied building with columns and domed halls, exhibition halls, and a rich library where works by renowned Armenian artists are presented.

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