Sunday morning. A very old small church hidden in a backyard between high houses. Ancient stone, a cat roaming around. I’m sitting down in the first room normally for the non-baptised to not disturb the religious service. Listening to the chants of the worshippers in a non-understandable language. The smell and smoke of olibanum in the air. Every now and then somebody enters, prays, makes the sign of the cross, touches the walls of the church three times. Before he or she continues he ignites a small yellow candle and places it in a very old metal tray full of water. A mystical situation.

The Zoravor church dates back to the 17th century CE and was formerly called Surp Astvatsatsin church which means the church of the holy mother of God. The name Zoravor is an additional name meaning ‘strong’ and ‘mighty’ but refers to another place in Armenia – a bible form there (dating back to the 13th century) was stored here. You can find the church close to the opera of Երևան, but you need to find the entrance to the backyard – don’t give up, it is worth the effort.

Zoravor church
Զորավոր Սուրբ Աստվածածին Եկեղեցի
9 Ghazar Parpetsi St / 9 Ղազար Փարպեցու փողոց
Երևան, Հայաստան
Yerevan, Armenia


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