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Martiros “cave” church — hewn in stone


Martiros “cave” church is located 2km south-east from Martiros village. It is completely carved from easily hewn lime-mixed sandstone mountain called Nzar and it presents itself as a complex network of cave structures. According to inscriptions preserved on the walls, the complex was built in 1286 with the efforts of Archimandrite Matheos. Interestingly, during the foundation of the Martiros monastery, this area was in the domain of Proshyan princes who also constructed Geghardavanq during the same period. The church is lightened through the small chimney in the dome. The church also had a secret underground connection with Katnaghbyur situated in a small valley. There is a small cemetery in front of the church with tombstones and cross-stones, or knackers, which are typical of the 13-14th centuries. 

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