Rosanne Parrott

Rosanne Parrott

Published: 19 Sep 2023


Zvartnots, the ancient temple located in Armenia, is a marvel of architectural and historical significance. With its unique design and rich cultural significance, it has become an incredible attraction for tourists and history enthusiasts from around the world. In this article, we will delve into the extraordinary facts about Zvartnots that make it truly remarkable. From its mysterious origins to its remarkable construction techniques, from its historical importance to its current state of preservation, we will explore everything that makes Zvartnots a must-visit landmark. So, get ready to embark on a journey through time and unravel the secrets of this magnificent ancient temple.

Table of Contents

A Masterpiece of Armenian Architecture

Zvartnots was built in the 7th century during the reign of Catholicos Nerses III. It is considered one of the finest examples of Armenian architectural design, showcasing the skill and ingenuity of the craftsmen who brought it to life.

A Unique Circular Design

Unlike many other temples of its time, Zvartnots was designed in a circular shape. This distinctive architectural feature has made it a standout landmark, attracting visitors from all over the world.

The “Celestial Angels” Mosaic

One of the most breathtaking features of Zvartnots is the intricately designed mosaic floor, known as the “Celestial Angels.” This stunning artwork portrays celestial beings with outspread wings, adding an ethereal touch to the temple.

A Hub of Cultural Exchange

During its heyday, Zvartnots served as an important center for religious and cultural gatherings. Pilgrims and scholars would converge here, fostering an environment of intellectual exchange and spiritual devotion.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site

In recognition of its architectural significance, Zvartnots was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in This prestigious title solidifies its status as a globally recognized cultural treasure.

Impressive Dimensions

The main circular building of Zvartnots had a diameter of 45 meters (148 feet) and stood at a height of 30 meters (98 feet). These grand proportions highlight the ambitious scope of its construction.

Devastation by Natural Forces

Unfortunately, Zvartnots was severely damaged by an earthquake in the 10th century. The colossal collapse of its central dome marked the end of its glory days, leaving behind a captivating ruin.

A Symbol of Resilience

Despite the devastation, Zvartnots continues to inspire and captivate. Its remains serve as a lasting testament to the resilience of the Armenian people and their rich cultural heritage.

Complex Structural Engineering

The construction techniques employed in Zvartnots were incredibly advanced for its time. Its architects utilized a combination of stones, clay, and lime mortar, showcasing their skill in structural engineering.

The Mystery of its Purpose

Despite extensive research, the exact purpose of Zvartnots remains a subject of debate among historians and archaeologists. Some theories suggest it served as a cathedral, while others propose it was a palace or a royal mausoleum.

The Influence of Byzantine Architecture

Zvartnots exhibits strong influences from Byzantine architectural styles. The intricate ornamentation, domed structure, and grandeur of the monument reflect the Byzantine influence on Armenian architecture during that era.

A Portal Into the Past

Visiting Zvartnots is like stepping into a time machine. Its ancient ruins provide a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of Armenia and the empires that once flourished in the region.

Restoration Efforts

In recent years, extensive restoration work has been carried out to preserve and protect Zvartnots. These efforts aim to ensure that future generations can appreciate and learn from this extraordinary landmark.

Inspiring Poets and Artists

Zvartnots has been a source of inspiration for countless artists, poets, and writers throughout history. Its beauty and mystique have sparked creativity and continue to resonate in various art forms.

A Tourist Attraction

Zvartnots is not only a site of historical significance but also a popular tourist destination. Visitors can explore the ruins, immerse themselves in the captivating ambiance, and marvel at the grandeur of this ancient masterpiece.

An Emblem of Armenian Identity

Zvartnots holds a special place in the hearts of the Armenian people. It stands as a symbol of their unique identity, resilience, and cultural heritage, serving as a reminder of the country’s ancient roots.

There you have it, the 16 extraordinary facts about Zvartnots. This exceptional landmark continues to inspire wonder and admiration with its architectural brilliance and historical significance. Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast or a history lover, a visit to Zvartnots is a journey back in time you won’t want to miss.


In conclusion, Zvartnots is an incredible landmark with a fascinating history and architectural significance. This ancient Armenian temple complex showcases the ingenuity and artistic talent of the builders who constructed it. Its unique design and advanced engineering techniques make it a truly extraordinary site to visit. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, an architecture lover, or simply someone looking to explore the wonders of the world, Zvartnots should definitely be on your travel bucket list. Its ethereal beauty and cultural importance make it a must-see destination.


Q: When was Zvartnots constructed?

A: Zvartnots was built during the 7th century, specifically between the years 643 and 652 AD.

Q: What does the name “Zvartnots” mean?

A: The name “Zvartnots” translates to “celestial angels” or “angels descending” in Armenian.

Q: How did Zvartnots get destroyed?

A: Zvartnots was devastated by an earthquake in the 10th century, which caused significant damage to the structure and led to its eventual abandonment.

Q: Is Zvartnots a UNESCO World Heritage site?

A: Yes, Zvartnots was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000, recognizing its cultural and historical importance.

Q: Are there any ongoing restoration efforts at Zvartnots?

A: While there have been some restoration efforts over the years, Zvartnots remains in ruins. However, measures are being taken to preserve the remaining structures and prevent further deterioration.

Q: Can visitors enter the Zvartnots ruins?

A: Yes, visitors are welcome to explore the Zvartnots ruins. There is an entrance fee, and guided tours are available to provide more in-depth information about the history and architecture of the site.