Photographer's Note

A photo from my personal highlight of the trip to Armenia - Gerhard monastery.

I'm not really into architectural aspects of churches. In fact, I'm not into churches as such, but if you go to a country like Armenia you can't avoid visiting at least a few of them since -basically, they (and monasteries) are what guidebooks list as "things to see". No wonder- Armenia was the first country ever to accept Christianity (301 A.D.), and it boasts some of the oldest examples of sarcal architecture of the Christian world. You can be surprised however- like I was - how some of these buildings may affect you in spite of the fact that you're going to them without much previous interest. I used to think "Ok, I'm travelling in this country,
and as much as I'm mainly here for the views I should take a look at some monuments to learn a bit of its history..." Gerhard was to be just "the next in line" , yet I was actually unwilling to leave it at all (that day at least:-))... You see, Gerhard is so austere, so dark, so sodden with age and
so beautifully devoid of any objects, furniture, lamps, paintings, pews etc., so amazingly irregular in the shapes of
stone walls, and uneven in the surface of the stone floor, so abundant with with khachkars (stone crosses)of all sizes....I could go on and on- all leading to the point that it's raw and simple and thus more "conductive" to eclectic atmosphere.
Its name has an interesting origin as well- Gerhard means the Sacred Spear - the one with which Jesus was wounded, and the monastery was supposedly first built in 4th century to house this relic.

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Additional Photos by Aleksandra Borzecka (starbug) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 501 W: 4 N: 1033] (6924)
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