St. Hovhannes Church
Built1880

The St. Hovhannes Church sits at the center of the old part of the village or Arinj. Apparently on this spot there used to be another church named St. Astvatsatsin but it was in such bad condition that the village decided to build a new one instead of renovating the old one. So, in 1880 St. Hovhannes church was built. During the Soviet era, the church was used as a warehouse. Surrounded by trees, the church is easy to miss and at first does not show much to attract you to it. It is a three-nave dome-less basilica with a gabled roof and a large cupola. The overall design is very similar to the two churches in Kanaker, it is just 200 years newer and less decorated. Maybe the older church that was there previously was more similar$22 Walking around the outside you will see virtually no decorations or carvings, just large windows, and not-so-vivid colored tuff stone. It is nice that even though it is next to the main street, it is still surrounded by greenery. Something interesting to note is that the structure sits maybe 4-5 steps below the rest of the surrounding area. As is tradition, the main entrance is from the west opposite the altar. There is another door on the northern wall as well. The interior is what really makes the visit! Because of the large windows, there is a lot of nice light inside. The altarpiece is beautifully carved out of tuff stone and painted on the front with images of saints, Mary with baby Jesus, and Jesus. Carved onto the columns on either side of the altar are ornate khachkars and next to those are a couple more paintings. Overall the interior is very warm and inviting. The woman working at the church was very friendly and was so happy to be having outside visitors to the church so if you get the chance please visit!

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