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Location: Ashtarak c., Aragatsotn region
Established: XIV c
From Yerevan: 24km / 27min

St. Gevork (St. George) church is located on the edge of Mughni village in Aragatsotn region.

According to the 17 century historian father Zachariah, the monastery was founded by the representatives of Hovhannavank monastery, who had the purpose to move St. Gevork’s relics here. Most probably, it was in the end of the 13th century, because already in 1278 manuscripts were copied in the monastery. Part of St. Gevork’s relics was moved to Georgia to cure the Georgian prince. Afterwards, St. Gevork church was founded in Tbilisi to save the relics.

St.Gevork church is located in the center of the monastic complex surrounded by fortress walls, beside which the other constructions are situated: refectory, warehouse, the water course. The church is a rectangular domed basilica, built of black, yellow-red treated stones. From the Western side, besides the very building of the church, a four-arch porch was built with the 12 column belfry-rotunda in it. The central arch of the porch is wider and higher, which emphasizes the architectural expressiveness of the Western front.

It is noteworthy that, unlike other medieval churches, which windows overlook the four side of the world, windows of this church deviate from this principle to some extent. The dome cover has fan shape. The drum exterior is decorated with 5 lines of yellow-red stones, and above the windows, crosses and symbols of the 4 evangelists (man, calf, lion, eagle) are located. St. Gevork church of Mughni is one of the best Armenian constructions of the late Middle Ages due to the high level of aesthetic parameters of architectural forms.

There are several khachkars (“cross-stones”) in the garden of St. Gevork church: the oldest is of 932, the latest – 1975. Interestingly, the latest was set at night, so no one knows who could possibly bring it here. From the Kasakh River up to Mughni a secret road of 1 km length was built for water obtaining, emergency escape in a dangerous situation, as well as manuscript saving.

Within the shrines, kept in the monastery of Mughni, St. Gevork’s right hand, apostle Thaddeus’s and evangelist Mathew’s relics are here. The pilgrimage day of St. Gevork monastery is celebrated on the last Saturday of September. 

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