Yereruyk

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Location: Anipemza v., Aragatsotn region
Established: V c
From Yerevan: 103km / 1h 36min


Yereruyk temple is three-naved church of basilica type, which is located in Shirak region of RA, near Anipemza village, on the left bank of the Akhuryan River. The temple was built during early Christian period: 4-5 cc. It is preserved in dilapidated condition. It is considered to be one of the most ancient Armenian churches of its kind. 

According to folk etymology, the name derives from the architectural decisions of the construction, based on columns, due to which it seems from afar as if the temple is fluctuating. Yereruk is one the most valued construction in Armenia. According to the experts, it is one of the greatest temples of Middle Ages.  

According to the architectural type, Yereruyk is a three-naved basilica, built in the 5th century. The temple is significant for its amazing construction. It was built on six-stage huge podium.  The dam of an ancient reservoir of 200 meters length was found near the temple; a unique example of Armenian engineering. 

Deep canyon of the Akhuryan River (from which Arpri Lake starts) and the quietness surrounding mountains supplement all these with amazing beauty. 

In neighborhood with the temple, there are holes on the ground and spacious rooms under them: exits of the two rocks are in the lower part. One of the exits is ruined; the mentioned holes are the lighting apertures (yerdik), due to which it is light enough inside the rocks. There are special holes on the walls, which served as shelves and sitting places. In one of the salons there are two oppositely located stones, which look like a table and two chairs with handles. Nevertheless, these were fragments of some construction. 

The temple is dedicated to Hovhannes Mkrtich (John the Baptist). There are child graves in the territory. It is supposed that Hovhannes Mkrtich (John the Baptists) offered to bury non-christened children there.

The embossed stones, spread all around, prove that here traces of only early Christian period are preserved. There are only a few traces of the Middle Ages. The complex functioned and developed during early Christian period, during pre-Arab years. Later on, the complex reached the peak of its development during period of prosperity of Ani capital: in 10-11 cc, and then in 13th century, but with less activity. 



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