Vintage Embossed Copper Wall Decoration of Zvartnots Cathedral, Armenian Chekanka, Wall Hanging Décor
Rare antique vintage embossed copper wall decoration made in Armenia in the Soviet era 1970s or even early in the 1960s which evokes of Zvartnots Cathedral with a bird and two angels.
The eagle was the symbol of the Artaxiad Dynasty and later on the symbol of the Arsacid Dynasty of Armenia.
Zvartnots Cathedral built by the order of Catholicos Nerses the Builder from 643-652. Now in ruins, it is located at the edge of the city of Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin) in Armavir Province of Armenia.
Zvartnots was built at a time when much of Armenia had recently been conquered by the Muslim Arabs who were progressively occupying the Sasanian Persia/Iran of which Armenia was a part at the time. Construction of the cathedral began in 643 under the guidance of Catholicos Nerses III (nicknamed Shinogh or the Builder). Dedicated to St. Gregory, it was located at the place where a meeting between King Trdat III and Gregory the Illuminator was supposed to have taken place. According to the medieval Armenian historian Movses Kaghankatvatsi, the cathedral was consecrated in 652. From 653 to 659, Nerses was in Tayk and the construction of the cathedral continued under Anastas Akoratsi. Following the Arab occupation of Dvin and the intensifying wars between the Byzantine and Arab armies on the former's eastern borders, Nerses transferred the patriarchal palace of the Catholicos from Dvin to Zvartnots.
The exterior church design, featuring basket capitals with Ionic volute mounts, eagle capitals, and vine scroll friezes reveals the influence of Syrian and northern Mesopotamian architecture.
Zvartnots stood for 320 years before its collapse in the 10th century; by the time the historian Stepanos Taronatsi wrote of the church it was already in ruins, without giving a reason. How it collapsed is still debated, though most argues for one of two theories; earthquake, or as a result of Arab raids.
The most common explanation is earthquake, though the building was well engineered and designed to last 1,000 years (a projected date for the second coming of Christ). Excavations have uncovered traces of large fires at the site, perhaps of an earlier attempt to destroy the church, though the construction also included firing of obsidian and lime mortar to form the mortar joints (firing it into brick) and the 1893 excavation used fire and explosives to clear debris. A close copy of the cathedral was erected at Ani out by Trdat the Architect under the reign of Gagik I Bagratuni during the final decade of the tenth century. The contemporary Armenian historian Stepanos Taronetsi referred to Zvartnots when describing the church that Gagik I had inaugurated as "a large structure at Vałaršapat-Vagharshapat, dedicated to the same saint that had fallen into ruins."