Zvartnots Cathedral

Zvartnots Cathedral is a 7th-century centrally planned aisled tetraconch type Armenian cathedral built by the order of Catholicos Nerses the Builder from 643-652. Now in ruins, it is located at the edge of the city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin) in Armavir Province of Armenia.Construction of the cathedral began in 643 under the guidance of Catholicos Nerses III Dedicated to St. Gregory, it was located at the place where a meeting between King Trdat III and Gregory the Illuminator was supposed to have taken place.

The exterior church design, featuring basket capitals with Ionic volute mounts, eagle capitals, and vine scroll friezes reveals the influence of Syrian and northern Mesopotamian architecture.
Zvartnots stood for 320 years before its collapse in the 10th century; by the time the historian Stepanos Taronatsi wrote of the church it was already in ruins, without giving a reason. How it collapsed is still debated, though most argues for one of two theories; earthquake, or as a result of Arab raids.

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