Violated monuments in Karabakh

This article is the second part of the material we presented about the monuments violated by Armenians in Karabakh.

Dagyurd is the territory of Khojaly. The name of the village was Sarushen until December 29, 1992. At the end of the 19th century, Armenians who replaced from Iran to Karabakh was called village Sarushen. The population of the village consists of Armenian families who immigrated from Iran in the 90s of the XIX century. Dagyurd is one of the ancient territories of Azerbaijan. Oykonim means “territory in the mountain”. The village has been under occupation by the Armenian Armed Forces since 1992. The general appearance and the structure of the monument show the uniqueness of this monument. The monument was used as a warehouse during the Soviet Empire.

One of the most popular forms of Albanian architecture was the `sovmes`. Although the sovmes play the role of a small temple on the side of the caravan ways, they are monumental structures in fact. In these areas, both non-altar and altar sovmes are found.

Since these types of buildings were not designed for worship, their architectural structures also varied. One of the monuments with such an interesting style is the sovme on Ziyarat mountain of the former Hadrut region.

The most complex buildings of the Albanian period are usually basilicas and monasteries. Monasteries and basilicas, unlike churches and sovmens, have a magnificent structure of two, three, and even four naves. These monuments were intended for mass events and religious worship.

The construction style and peculiarities of these monuments also differ sharply from the architecture of Eastern Christianity. At present, Armenians present all such monuments in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan as Armenian churches. Armenians, who call all types of buildings of the Albanian period “Armenian churches”, claim that all the monuments of the Albanian period in Nagorno-Karabakh are “Armenian churches”. However, during the Soviet Empire, there was only one Armenian church in the area, and this church provided worship for all Armenians living here.

Armenianization` of some of the architectural monuments in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan includes the Amaras Monastery in the village of Sos in Khojavend region.

The monastery is one of the most sacred temples visited in Caucasian Albania from the early Christian period to the abolition of the Albanian Apostolic Church. The peculiarity of this monastery was that it was considered sacred by both Christian and Muslim people. Amaras was also a major religious center before the spread of Christianity.

Armenian vandalism is not limited to the territory of Mountainous Karabakh, but also covers Lachin, Kalbajar, Gubadli, Jabrayil, Fizuli, Zangilan and Aghdam regions around Karabakh. One of the monuments vandalized by Armenians is Agoghlan Monastery.

Agoghlan Monastery is located in Kosalar, Lachin region. The monument was founded in the V-VI centuries. Agoghlan Temple is an Albanian monastery of the 5th-6th centuries. As the monument was subjected to avalanches and ruins at different times, it was reconstructed in the 9th century and adapted to the style of a monastery. While this monument was being repaired, its original foundations were preserved, and new walls were built on top of the old ones. After the restoration, Agoghlan Castle became one of the most magnificent monuments of Albanian architecture in the history of Azerbaijan.

Agoghlan Monastery was subjected to the following changes during the occupation of the Republic of Armenia:

  • The protective wall of the monastery was demolished and the second entrance gate was opened.
  • The architectural structure of the monastery was changed and the right wall was demolished and a door was placed there.
  • In 2005, 6 tombstones were erected a few meters from the right wall of the monastery.
  • In the interior of the monument, ie on the inner and outer walls, 26 Albanian symbols and wall inscriptions were changed, and as many original art samples were completely erased.
  • At the entrance to the complex, several 2.5-meter-high crosses made of crushed basalt were installed in Yerevan, Armenia.
  • The top of the monument is covered with iron plates when it is not needed.

Author: Faig Ismayilov – Chairman of Public Union on Protection of Historical and Cultural Monuments of Azerbaijan 

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