Monuments of Aragatsotn, Aragatsotn region

State index 2.1.17

St Marine church is located in the town of Ashtarak, in the Aragatsotn Province of the Republic of Armenia. According to the inscription preserved in the prayer hall, it was built in 1281 during the leadership of vardapet Gregory. The church was built of brown tuff stone.

The church has been renovated many times, elder priest Hakob  renovated the walls surrounding the church on his own initiative in 1317.

There is a legend in Ashtarak about the construction of St Marine Church, according to which there was once a rich young priest, who lost his wife prematurely. He asked the Catholicos for the right to remarry. The Catholicos rejected his illegal request and wanted to make the priest give up his wish. He ordered him to build a church first  and then get married. The priest carried out his order and built St Marine church with great effort. After the construction of the church, he made the same request again, but received an unexpected new order, this time the task was to surround the churchyard with strong and high walls, as well as to build cells in the congregation. The priest carried out the order, spending all his belongings. The older priest after which he was granted the right to marry, renounced his wish and repented for the sake of lifelong benevolence, joining his church and his brotherhood.

The main literature

  1. T.Kh.Hakobyan, St.T.Melik Bakhshyan, H.Kh.Barseghyan “Dictionary of toponyms of Armenia and adjacent regions”, vol.III, Yerevan, YSU 1991(in Armenian)
  2. Saghumyan Suren “Ashtarak: Historical facts, monuments, lithographic inscriptions”, National Academy of Sciences of the RA “Science” pub. 1998
  3. Ghanalanyan Ashot “Folk talks”, Yerevan, Academy of Sciences of the Armenian SSR pub. 1969