Surp Stepanos Church – The Apse

Last updated December 18, 2017


September 2001. Photograph courtesy Seyda Güngör Açikgöz.
A view toward the church apse, from approximately 1913. Collection of ProjectSAVE Armenian Photographic Archives, courtesy of Mary Sarajian. The distinctive hemi-dome, with its multi-cross pattern, is clearly a focal point.

Photographs of the hemi-dome from June 2003.

The photographs below are all from June, 2003, and show details of the apse. The first photograph shows a doorway out of the sanctuary. The following 3 photographs are all just left of center, with the fourth photograph showing a doorway to the room behind the altar, for priests and deacons. The final two photographs are right of center.

In the above photographs, two doorways are seen. They lead to two rooms behind the apse, which are interconnected. They can be seen at the top left of the architectural plans made by Seyda Güngör Açikgöz in 2002 (see illustration to the right) likely, they served as an area for the priests and deacons to prepare for the liturgy. The photographs below are of these rooms (June 2003).

Of particular interest are the carvings in some of the bricks in these rooms, with some images appearing to represent scissors and, in one, a trowel. Dating these is difficult, but it would seem that they certainly might pre-date the 1871 reconstruction of the church.