Ghazanchetsots Cathedral of Christ the Holy Savior, the Pride of Shushi
If you believe Jdrduz (or Canyon of Hunot) is the most mysterious part of Shushi, you should definitely pay a visit to the pride of Shushi, Ghazanchetsots Cathedral of Christ the Holy Savior.
Ghazanchetsots Cathedral of Christ the Holy Savior, built between 1868 and 1887, is one of the biggest Armenian churches. It sits in the fortress-city of Shushi, which is the historic capital of Nagorno Karabagh in the South Caucasus and is the symbol of Victory of the Armenian people since its liberation during the Nagorno Karabakh War in 1992.
Photo by Kochard
Built on high-altitude plateau, the small city of Shushi was turned into a fortress –city in mid of the 18th century. It became trade and cultural center in the 19th century, and was the third influential city after Istanbul and Tbilisi for Armenians. Urbanization bloomed in Shushi in 1820, and the town became known for its two-three storey buildings. However, the city has been destructed at various times and devastated during Nagorno Karabagh War of the 20th century. The war – torn Shushi is reviving now with the promise of a new future.
After the Azeri invasions in 1920, the defaced Ghazanchetsots Cathedral was used to store missiles, and served as a granary and a garage during the seventy years of the Soviet regime. In 1988, the statues of angels in front of the church were destroyed, and the Azeri army used it as a military storehouse during the Nagorno Karabagh War.
Ghazanchetsots Cathedral was renovated after Sushi liberation in 1992 and was fully restored in 1998. It is currently the seat of the leader of Diocese of Artsakh. Today, the newly restored Ghazanchetsots Cathedral proudly predominates over the entire plateau and the picturesque Valley of Kar-Kar. The impressive beauty of the white limestone church is underlined with the sculptural works from outside and the full-length images of the apostles from inside.
Photo by Edgar Harutyunyan
Tip: Be ready for the most spectacular acoustic experience after you enter one of the mystical basement rooms of the church. When in the room, stand in the center of this hemispherical area, under the hole made in the ceiling and speak to hear your voice. DON’T PANIC if your voice is unusually high! You are still the same person. You are the only one hearing the natural unusual tone of your own voice. On the other hand, it sounds normal to the ones standing one meter away from you. By the way, the acoustics is much more interesting when singing, because the room has another interesting acoustic property, which we hope you will discover by yourself…