Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title Armenian Architecture of Crimea of the 13th–15th Centuries. The Issue of Boundaries between National and Confessional Traditions on the Peninsula
Author email
About author Kazaryan, Armen — full doctor, director of the Research Institute of Theory and History of Architecture and Town Planning, Moscow; deputy director for research. State Institute for Art Studies, Kozitskii per., 5, 125009 Moscow, Russian Federation.
In the section Byzantine and Eastern Christian Art DOI10.18688/aa199-2-29
Year 2019 Volume 9 Pages 326338
Type of article RAR Index UDK 72.033 Index BBK 85.11

Armenian medieval architecture of the Crimean peninsula is a phenomenon that has been largely studied in terms of building a factual database, identifying the church typology, and discovering national roots of the local tradition. However, those studies have not actually considered Armenian medieval heritage to be apart of a regional phenomenon that united building traditions of several peoples in the 13th–15th centuries.The very existence of such a cumulative concept as the Crimean medieval architecture forces us to raise the questionof the development of some individual national/confessional traditions within it, as well as the question of boundaries between national styles of architecture on the peninsula. The present historical and theoretical research aims to give a new impetus for the discussion of these interconnected issues basing on comparative analysis of the monuments of Armenian architecture.

It becomes obvious that the forms of arches and vaults, capitals and cornices, domes and portals of the Armenian churches not only resemble some patterns of the architecture of Armenia itself, but also show similarities with the churches of other confessions, particularly Genoese, as well as with mosques and mausoleums built on the orders of the Golden Horde rulers. Most likely these interconnections existed due to the following factors: 1) common cultural environment on the Crimean peninsula; 2) developing fashion for architectural forms and decor; 3) work of the same masters on buildings of different confessions (the last thesis is not developed in the article). The study deduces that the boundaries between national styles do not lie in the field of architectural forms and ornaments. However, they do exist and they should be identified when exploring the composition of buildings, as it is the composition that determined the originality of architectural images.

Reference Kazaryan, Armen. Armenian Architecture of Crimea of the 13th–15th Centuries. The Issue of Boundaries between National and Confessional Traditions on the Peninsula. Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of articles. Vol. 9. Ed: A. V. Zakharova, S. V. Maltseva, E. Iu. Staniukovich-Denisova. — Lomonosov Moscow State University / St. Petersburg: NP-Print, 2019, pp. 326–338. ISSN 2312-2129.
Publication Article language russian
  • Aybabina E. A. Dekorativnaia kamennaia rez’ba Kaffy XIV–XVIII vv. (Decorative Stone Carving of Kaffa of the 14th–18th Centuries). Simferopol, Sonat Publ., 2001. 280 p. (in Russian).
  • Aybabina E. A.; Bocharov S. G. New Materials on the History of the Medieval Armenian Colony of Kaffa. Byzantina xponika, 1997, vol. 57 (82), pp. 211–233 (in Russian).
  • Cuneo P. Architettura Armena dal quarto al diciannovesimo secolo. Roma, De Luca Editore Publ., 1988. 930 p. (in Italian).
  • Hakobyan Z. The Frescoes of the Church of Tigran Honents (St. Gregory) (1215) in Ani: Confessional Aspect. Maltseva S. V., Staniukovich-Denisova E. Iu.; Zakharova A. V. (eds.). Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of Articles, vol. 7. St. Petersburg, St. Petersburg University Press Publ., 2017, pp. 269–279. Available at: 10.18688/aa177-2-27 (accessed 02 March 2019).
  • Kazaryan A. Yu. Tserkovnaia arkhitektura stran Zakavkaz’ia VII veka: formirovanie i razvitie traditsii (Church Architecture of the 7th Century in Transcaucasian Countries: Formation and Development of the Tradition), vol. 2. Moscow, Locus Standi Publ., 2012. 640 p. (in Russian).
  • Kazaryan A. Yu. The State and the Problems of Study of the Architecture of Medieval Crimea and of the Armenian Architecture as Its Important Part. Lukina G. U. (ed.). Iskusstvoznanie: nauka, opyt, prosveshenie: Sbornik statei po materialam nauchnoi konferentsii, 9–11 noiabria 2017 g. (Proceedings of the International Conference on Art Studies: Science, Experience, Education. 9–11 November 2017). Moscow, State Institute for Art Studies Publ., 2018, pp. 289–300 (in Russian).
  • Kazaryan A. The Armenian Cathedral of Saints James in Jerusalem: Melisende and the Question of Exchange between East and West. Romanesque and the Mediterranean. London, British Archaeological Association Publ., 2018, pp. 83–92.
  • Kazaryan A. Yu. The Domes of Armenian Churches of Medieval Crimea. Revisited Specific Features of the Regional Architecture. Arkhitektura i iskusstvo: ot teorii k praktike (Architecture and Art: From Theory to Practice), in print (in Russian).
  • Kazaryan A. Yu.; Loshkareva E. A. The Riddle of the Church of John the Baptist in Feodosia and the Problems of Its New Architectural-Archeological Investigation. Mezhdunarodnaia nauchnaia konferentsiia
  • “Archeologiia srednevekovogo Kryma”, 25–29 sentiabria 2017 g. (Scientific Conference “Archeology of Medieval Crimea”, 25–29 September 2017). Sevastopol, Khersones Tavricheskii Publ., 2017, pp. 31–34 (in Russian).
  • Kirilko V. P. The Monuments of Armenian Architecture of Solkhat. Issledovaniia po armeniatike v Ukraine (Armenological Studies in Ukraine), vol. 1. Simferopol, 2008, pp. 35–41 (in Russian).
  • Kirilko V. P. Construction Periodization of the So-Called Uzbek Mosque in the Old Crimea. Bocharov S. G.; Sitnikov A. G. (eds.). Genuezskaia Gazariia i Zolotaia Orda (Genovese Gazaria and the Golden Horde). Chisinau, Stratum plus Publ., 2015, pp. 509–558.
  • Kirilko V. P. Portal of the Crimean Mosque of Uzbek. Stratum plus, 2015, no. 6, pp. 253–276.
  • Kirilko V. P. Mihrab of the Sheikh-Koy Mosque. Povolzhskaia arkheologiia (The Volga Region Archeology), 2016, no. 2 (16), pp. 138–150.
  • Kirilko V. P. Stone Roofs in the Architecture of the Medieval Crimea. Stratum plus, 2016, vol. 6, pp. 53–62.
  • Kirilko V. P. The Stalactite Forms in the Architecture of the Crimea in the Middle Ages. Mal’tseva S. V.; Staniukovich- Denisova E. Iu.; Zakharova A. V. (eds.). Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of Articles, vol. 9. St. Petersburg, NP-Print Publ., 2019, pp. 737–747. Available at: (accessed 27 December 2019) (in Russian).
  • Sargsyan T. E. Again on the Armenian Churches in Feodosia of the 13th–15th Centuries. The Church of the Archangels Gabriel and Mikael. Historical-Philological Journal, 2002, no. 2, pp. 112–130 (in Russian).
  • Sargsyan T. E.; Petrosyan M. V. Krym: monastyr’ Surb Khach (Crimea: The Monastery of Surb Khach). Simferopol, Mediatsentr imeni I. Gaspinskogo Publ., 2017. 304 p. (in Russian).
  • Sidorenko V. A. The Study of Architectural Styles of the Monuments of the South-Eastern Crimea. Arkhitekturno- arkheologicheskie issledovaniia v Krymu (Architectural-Archeological Investigations in Crimea). Kiev, Naukova Dumka Publ., 1988, pp. 115–128.
  • Khalpakchian O. Kh. Cult Constructions of the Crimean Armenians. Arkhitekturnoe nasledstvo (Architectural Heritage), 1992, vol. 39, pp. 32–45 (in Russian).
  • Khalpakchian O. Kh. Two Armenian Churches of Feodosia. Arkhitekturnoe nasledstvo (Architectural Heritage), 1999, vol. 43, pp. 184–195 (in Russian).
  • Yakobson A. L. Armenian Medieval Architecture in the Crimea. Byzantina xponika, 1956, vol. 8 (33), pp. 166–191 (in Russian).
  • Yakobson A. L.; Tamanian Yu. A. Armianskaia arkhitektura v Krymu (Armenian Architecture in the Crimea). Yerevan, Hayastan Publ., 1990 (in Russian).