(Sewan, Sevan Lichi)
Lake Sevan, Sevan region, Republic of Armenia
AA Vol. 2, Fiche # 059-062.
The Church of S. Astvatsatsin (Mother of God) and the smaller Church of S. Arak'elots (Holy Apostles, later S. Karapet) are both located on a peninsula which was once an island in Lake Sevan (approx. coord. 40-35/ 45-00). According to an inscription on the south wall of the Church of S. Arak'elots, the monastery was founded in 874 AD and it is attributed to Princess Mariam, the wife of Prince Vasak of Kapur and the daughter of the Bagratuni King Asot. For several centuries thereafter it remained an important spiritual center and was a pilgrimage site for thousands of visitors from all parts of Armenia.
Today, the monastery consists of only the two churches and a ruined
gavit which are all situated on the southwest side if a hill overlooking
Lake Sevan. The Church of S. Arak'elots has a trefoil inscribed within
a crosstype plan surmounted by a conical dome. The entrance portal is framed
by and arch located on the southwest side. A short distance to the southeast
is the Church of S. Astvatsatsin which was built in a similar fashion
immediately after the completion of S. Arak'elots. However, S. Astvatsatsin
has some additional chapel and chamber spaces and has a somewhat wider
plan.The ruined gavit, located to the west of S. Astvatsatsin has
been dated to the 9th or 10th century and was comprised of a square space
over which an erdik' (corbelled lantern or dome) was supported by a pair
of wooden piers.