Arutch Cathedral. The village Aruj is one of the oldest settlements of Armenia. It is situated in historical Aragatsotn province, at the southern foot of Aragats Mountain near Ashtarak. It is mentioned as winter shelter for the king’s army in V c. It was the capital city of Armenia during Ishkhan Grigor Mamikonyan’s power (661-682). It became a town-settlement in X-XI cc.
Arutch and its environs are rich with historical- architectural monuments; burial-vaults from Bronze Age, temples, palaces, fortresses, khachkars, etc. The temple of Arutch is one of the most important medieval Armenian architectural constructions. According to building inscriptions and manuscripts (Ghevond, Hovanes Draskhanakertsi, Stepanos Taronatsi) in 60-70’s of VII c it was built by Grigor Mamikonyan and his wife Heghine. It belongs to the “domed hall” type of churches. Inside the big church’s praying hall, by the longitudinal walls, over the two arches connecting the pillars, the dome with its drum raised (now destroyed). Thanks to such order of the bearings the praying hall is taken as a united, non-separated territory; the big altar is well visible from all sides by which the sacristies are placed. There are two deep and wide bays in the eastern wall. Between them under the window, a building inscription is placed. The windows are decorated with beautifully ornamented arches; the cornices are carved as if they are woven like those in Zvartnots.
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