Satkha - Surb Metsn Nerses (Saint Nerses the Great) church

satxa-surb metsn nersesis eklesiaThe church was established in 1869.

Establishment of the church: The village of Satkha is located 18 km south-east of Akhalkalaki. Surb Metsn Nerses Hayrapet (Saint Nerses the Great Patriarch) church in Satkha village was built in 1869, in the adjacent southern side of the ancient Surb Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God) church in the village. The need for a new church was due to population growth [1]. In 1885, in accordance with the ''Ardzaganq'' newspaper, the new church in Satkha was similar to the old one, but was larger [2]. In 1903 the church was renovated with the local public means [3]. In 1905 the income of the church was 96 rubles and 26 kopeks in silver [4].

2 Sarxa Surb Metsn NersesThe abovementioned ancient church known as Surb Astvatsatsin church has existed since the Middle Ages, and it was mentioned with the name Surb Astvatsatsin in the diocesan churches' bulletin of 1840 [5]. Rev. Father Ter-Gevorg Harutyunyan is mentioned as a priest and Rev. Father Stepanos Ter-Zakaryan as a tbir (clerk) [6].

Architecture: The external dimensions of the church are 22.75 x 13,95 m. It is domed, built of rough, hewn stone and mortar [7].

Parish priests: According to the church registers of Surb Nerses church in Satkha, Rev. Father Stepanos Ter-Stepanosyan, and Rev. Father Grigor Ter-Gevorgyan were priests of the church [8].

School: In accordance with the diocesan schools' bulletin, the church parish school of the village was opened in 1864 with the public means. As of 1869 it had 86 students [9]. According to the bulletin of 1875, the village preschool was located in the narthex of the church. Yeghishe Ter-Stepanosyan is mentioned as a teacher [10].

Reconstruction of the church: Surb Metsn Nerses church in Satkha was last renovated in 1994 with1 Satxa Surb Metsn Nerses a public fundraiser initiated by Satkha resident Artyush Sanosyan. During the renovation, the roof and dome of the church were tin-plated, and the church hall was cleaned and decorated.

During the renovation of the church, an inscription was found under the door threshold. The inscription was about the foundation of the castle built on 7 hills in the north-eastern side of the village, dated back 1658 [11].

Later, the church was renovated with financial means of the representatives of Mkoyan and Sanosyan families from Satkha. On December 15, 2002, the church named after Saint Nerses the Great Patriarch was consecrated by the Primate of Shirak Diocese, His Grace Bishop Mikayel Ajapahyan with the participation of the Primate of the Armenian Diocese in Georgia, His Grace Bishop Vazgen Mirzakhanyan.

Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia

Armenian Historical and Cultural Heritage Research Center in Georgia

[1] S. Karapetyan, Javakhk, Yerevan, 2006, p. 438.

[2] ''Ardzaganq'' 1885, N 3, p. 41.

[3] S. Karapetyan, in the same place

[4] NAA, ֆ. 53, ց. 1, գ. 3912, part 1, թ. 112-ի շրջ.-113.

[5] NAA, ֆ. 53, ց. 1, գ. 3800, թ. 4.

[6] NAA, ֆ. 53, ց. 1, գ. 457, թ. 58-ի շրջ.-59.

[7] S. Karapetyan, in the same place

[8] NAA, ֆ. 53, ց. 2, գ. 5003, թ. 2.

[9] NAA, ֆ. 53, ց. 1, գ. 3977, թ. 54-ի շրջ.-55.

[10] NAA, ֆ. 56, ց. 15, գ. 52, թ. 43-ի շրջ.-44.

[11] Y. Lalayan, Narratives, part. 1, Yerevan 1983, p. 61.

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