21 Israyelyan St, Republic of Armenia, Yerevan
Saint Sarkis Church stands on the left bank of the Hrazdan River. It was built in 1842. Once there was a huge monastery complex surrounded by high gates, which included three churches: St Sarkis, St Gevorg, and St Hakob.
Saint Sarkis Church was the official seat of the Patriarch, and the monastery was a patriarchal residence for guests. Unfortunately, the two other churches were destroyed during the 1679 earthquake, and later only St Sarkis was rebuilt. Nowadays, it is the seat of the Araratian Pontifical Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
During the rule of Catholicos Vazgen I, the church underwent basic renovations and improvements based on a plan by Architect Rafayel Israelian. Тhe reconstruction works of Saint Sarkis began in 1972. The architects decided to remove the old dome and the old drum, replacing them by a much higher dome with polyhedral fan-shaped spire. In the eastern part of the church, a gallery was added for the church choir.
The architect Rafael Israyelyan didn't change the exterior of the church and preserved its style. Only the walls of the church were changed into orange tufa color, and triangular niches were engraved. After the death of Rafayel Israyelian, the construction works continued his co-author, architect Artsroon Galikian.
The construction of the bell tower of the St Sarkis Vicarial Church was completed in 2000. The rebuilding process of Saint Sarkis Cathedral was realized by the donation of Armenian benefactors Sarkis Kurkjian and his sons.