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Sintron in Aqori’s Bgavor Church

Aqori’s Bgavor Church, which is ruined now, is situated in the same name village of Tumanyan’s district. There isn’t any lapidary inscription on the church. We have not historical information and evidence about the church, too. Bgavor’s church is closely connected with the monuments of Kobayr, Akhtala, which are located in the same region and dated back to the 13 th century. The church was built under Zakaryans.

Relying on the similarity of artistic decoration of the church building and same time Georgian monuments, Thierry sees the influence of Georgian architecture in Bgavor’s church. Whereas during Zakaryans’ reign the commonalities of Armenian-Georgian architecture, as it mentioned in the literature rightfully, was conditioned by commonality of Armenian-Georgian cooperation of culture and religious beliefs (Chalcedonic).

Աքորիի Բգավոր եկեղեցու հատակագիծը

The Layout of the Bgavor Church in Aqori

Aqori’s Bgavor is a three-nave vaulted church, where central nave is wider. At the east it ends with semicircular altar. Along the altar we see sintron (degrees designed for clergy). It consists of two degrees and is built of stone. The sintron of Aqori’s Bgavor church is relatively narrow, which is not appropriate for functional use. May be it was not come as a real seat. We think that we are dealing here with a fake sintron.

Աքորիի Բգավոր եկեղեցու ներտարածքը, խորանի հատվածը

The Interior and the Altar of the Bgavor Church in Aqori

It is not strange and unusual for Chalcedonian churches and particularly in the 13 th century. Sintron is an important symbolic part, but it can not be used. It is typical for Byzantine churches, where the sintron turns into a symbolic element. However its presence has a distinct advice. The same regards to Armenian churches.

We see another important solution in the altar of Aqori’s Bgavor church. There is a niche in the center of sintron. The throne of bishop could be put in that niche. The other armenian churches (non-Chalcedonian) don’t have  such a niche.

Aqori’s Bgavor is one of the most interesting architectural monuments of the 13th century and requires further research.


 Շախկյան Գ., Լոռի, պատմության քարակերտ էջերը, Երևան, 1986, էջ 57-59

Тьерри Ж. М., Церковь «Бгавор» в Акори //4-ый международный симпозиум по грузинскому искусству. Т., 1983

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