St. Poghos-Petros Church and Bell Tower


St. Poghos-Petros (Paul and Peter) is the main cathedral of Tatev Monastery. Built in 906, it is a rare monument of Armenian architecture, a transition from the classical 7th century domed basilica to the cross-winged vault-and-dome hall, which became the trademark of Armenian religious architecture in the Middle Ages.

The elegantly restrained exterior of St. Poghos-Petros and its considerable height give it a somber and stoic appearance. Its facades are decorated with different types of ornamentation. Special attention was paid to the interior decoration of St. Poghos-Petros.

The historic bell tower at the entrance of the church, once a beacon of spirituality and eminence, has lain in ruins since the 1931 earthquake. Once restored, the chimes of St. Poghos-Petros Church will once again resound proudly across the Vorotan Gorge.


The Soviet era restoration of St. Poghos-Petros with its collapsed dome was left incomplete. Rainwater continues to accumulate in many parts of the cathedral, causing more damage with each passing year. The present restoration will focus first and foremost on waterproofing and reversing water damage employing state-of-the-art techniques. The historical inaccuracies of previous restorations will be definitively corrected. The Soviet era floor, inappropriately made of polished granite, will be replaced with basalt, its original building material. The collapsed bell tower will be resurrected based on the recommendations of the international Restoration Advisory Committee.

Cost:                $1,350,000

Funded:            $ 400,000

Needed:                $950,000

Target completion date:   October 2013