Surp Stepanos Church – The Exterior

Last updated December 18, 2017


Surp Stepanos church, as it stood in 1998. The dome is no longer present, and the buildings that had been adjacent to the church are also missing. Still, looking at the surviving architectural elements gives a sense of what a magnificent structure this must have been.

Surp Stepanos church, January 2002. Note that the church is built on a steep slope, such that the rear of the building, where the altar was, is actually built into the ground. The cruciform shaped window below the peak in the roof can be seen in some other churches in the area (and is almost identical in the church still standing in Tomarza).

Surp Stepanos, May 2002. In the last photograph in this series, above the door, one can just barely discern the seventh letter of the Armenian alphabet, representing Almighty God. It is interesting to note how frequently the architectural designs appear in groups of three – there are 3 arched openings on the northern and southern wings, and 3 windows in the front on the second floor. Perhaps this is not happenstance, but rather refers to the Holy Trinity.

May 2003

This photograph, from June 2003, shows the area immediately adjacent to Surp Stepanos, on the northern side. As one faces the church, this is the area immediately on the left. All traces of the church offices and the boys’ school have largely disappeared. The photograph is taken from the top of the church. One can see in the lower right corner of the photograph a portion of the short drum of the church, above which once rested the dome.