(A new homeschool year has begun and so has a new tour of World Heritage Sites around the globe! Print your own River Houses World Heritage Calendar and follow along with us every Wednesday.)
Armenia in eastern Europe is one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week, so why not spend a few minutes today learning about one of Armenia’s World Heritage Sites: the Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin.
The Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries are the best-preserved examples of medieval church architecture in Armenia:
The two monastic complexes of Haghpat and Sanahin are a serial property situated in the Lori Marz (region) of Armenia. Dating to the 10th to 13th centuries, the functional role, location and stylistic characteristics were taken into consideration during the construction of each new building. As a result, an asymmetrical but volumetrically balanced, harmonious and integrated complex was built, one which is in harmony with the picturesque landscape. The two monasteries represent the highest flowering of Armenian religious architecture between the 10th and 13th centuries. This unique style developed from a blending of elements of Byzantine ecclesiastical architecture and the traditional vernacular architecture of the Caucasus.
The monastery of Haghpat, founded by Queen Khosrovanush (wife of the Armenian King Ashot III the Merciful) in AD 976, consists of one narthex, two corridor-sepulchers, a refectory, a scriptorium, the Chapel of Hamazasp, a belfry, several chapel-tombs and cross-stones (khachkars), all surrounded by a towered rampart. The approaches to it were observed from the Kayanberd Fortress, which was built in the 13th century especially for that purpose….
The Sanahin monastery contains St Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God), St Amenaprkich (Redeemer) and St Grigor Churches, narthexes, fore-church, scriptorium, belfry and academy. St Astvatsatsin Church (AD 928–944) is a central-domed, cross-shaped example of Armenian medieval classical architecture that reached to its perfection in the main building of the complex, St Amenaprkich Church. It was built between AD 957 and 966 under the patronage of Queen Khosrovanush (wife of King Ashot III the Merciful). The focus of the interior is on the central nucleus and the harmony between its square base and round dome. The main apse is surrounded by four two-storey sacristies. The church is approached through a narthex, built in AD 1181 in a cross-in-square plan with the roof supported by four columns (the earliest known example of this plan). The ornamentation of the capitals of the columns with symbolic sculptures in the shape of animal heads adds distinctive expression to this narthex. (World Heritage Centre #777)
You can find a gallery of additional photos of the Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries on the World Heritage Centre’s website.
World Heritage Sites are cultural or natural landmarks of international significance, selected for recognition by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. More than 1000 such sites have been recognized in over 160 countries, and we feature one every Wednesday, drawn from one of our homeschool countries-of-the-week. You can find a complete list of World Heritage Sites online at the World Heritage Centre and in Wikipedia.
The World Heritage Centre also has a free and comprehensive World Heritage education kit for teachers, as well as a wonderful full-color wall map of World Heritage Sites, available for the cost of shipping. Why not add them both to your own homeschool library. 🗺
What world treasures will you be exploring in your homeschool this Cygnus Term? 😊
❡ Books in the running brooks: You can always turn to your River Houses almanac, atlas, and history encyclopedia for more information about any of our countries-of-the-week. The almanac has profiles of all the nations of the world on pages 752–859; the endpapers of the atlas are indexes that will show you where all of the individual national and regional maps may be found; the history encyclopedia includes national histories on pages 489–599; and you can find additional illustrations, flags, and other mentions through the indexes in each of these volumes. For an ideal little lesson, just write the name of the Weekly World Heritage Site on your homeschool bulletin board, find its location in your atlas, read the WHC’s brief description aloud, look at a picture or two, and you’re done. Over the course of the year, without even realizing it, your students will absorb a wealth of new historical, geographical, and cultural information. 🇦🇲
❡ This is a printable lesson: Down at the bottom of this post you’ll find a custom “Print” button and icon, along with several social-media share buttons. The Print button will let you create a neat and easy-to-read copy of this little lesson, and it will even let you resize or delete elements that you may not want or need (such as images or footnotes). Give it a try today! 🖨
❡ The great globe itself: This is one of our regular Homeschool States & Countries posts featuring cultural and natural sites of international importance. Download a copy of our River Houses World Heritage Calendar and follow along with us as we tour the planet, and add your name to our weekly mailing list to get great homeschool teaching ideas delivered right to your mailbox all through the year. 🌎 🌍 🌏
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