PLACES OF WORSHIP
Zoravor Sourb Astvatsatsin Church
Zoravor Sourb Astvatsatsin Church (Saint the Blessed Virgin "Powerful" Church) is one of the oldest churches in Yerevan which is situated in the center of the city. It is the typical shrine of Yerevan architecture of the 17th century.
The Church is surrounded by Pushkin and Tumanyan streets - hiding among high-rise residential buildings.
The chapel (later it became a famous sanctuary) was built in the 9th-10th centuries on the grave of the Holy Apostle Ananias. The Apostle's name is mentioned in the Bible.
The Church didn’t exist for a long time. It was destroyed during the earthquake of 1679.
The present-day church was built in the same place, in 1693 by the donation of the Yerevanian wealthy man Khoja Panos. The inscription of this structure is engraved on the outer part of the western wall, to the right of the portal, above an ornate large crosse stone.
The other inscription and the chronicles of the contemporaries claim the church to have been named after Holy Mother of God (Astvatsatsin). The church received the name Zoravor (meaning Powerful) much later, from a manuscript that was kept in the church and was believed to be so mighty that it could make miracles.
In different centuries, it was rebuilt several times. In the record of 1793 it is mentioned that the St Zoravor church was renovated by the centurion Gabriel under Catholicos Ghukas. In 1970s', it was completely restored by the French Armenian benefactore Sargis Petrosyan. On October 23, 2017, the new church bells were consecrated, donated by Vahe Shamiryan's family. The bells are made of bronze and sound great.
Among the unique treasures, housed in the Church, there is a fresco by painter Naghash Hovnatanyan on which baby Jesus Christ is crucified.
Nagash Hovnatan is an Armenian poet, ashug and artist, the founder of the famous Hovnatanian artistic family, the author of the interior decoration of the Etchmiadzin Cathedral. The nickname "nagash" means "painter" in Persian.