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Armenian Churches: Development of Style

Christina Maranci


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August 2022

Armenian Churches: Development of Style

Dr. Christina Maranci considers the evolution of architectural details and construction techniques that lend Armenian churches their distinctive style and form. Dating back to the conversion of Armenia to Christianity in the 4th century, the early churches were basilicas in the Byzantine style that developed into distinctively Armenian plans and elevations as early as in the 7th century. While construction techniques were further refined and developed over the centuries, what persists is a uniquely Armenian form that we readily recognize today. Set against the dramatic landscape of the Armenian highlands, these striking monuments are testaments to the ingenuity and lasting legacy of Armenian master builders.

Dr. Christina Maranci is Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at Harvard University. Her work explores the art and culture of Armenia in all aspects, but with special emphasis on the late antique and medieval periods. Her books include The Art of Armenia (Oxford University Press, 2018), Vigilant Powers: Three Churches of Early Medieval Armenia (Brepols, 2015), and Medieval Armenian Architecture: Constructions of Race and Nation (Peeters, 2001). Her articles and essays have appeared in the Wall Street JournalRevue des études arméniennesDumbarton Oaks PapersGesta, the Journal for the Society of Architectural Historians, the Art Bulletin, the Oxford Companion to Architecture, the Oxford Dictionary of the Middle AgesApolloThe Conversation, and Hyperallergic. She is also active in the preservation of Armenian cultural heritage, with a focus on the at-risk Armenian churches and monasteries in what is now Eastern Turkey.

Topics: Architecture Arts/Culture History