The one of the old church is located in Mastara village in Armenia. The church of ST. Hovhannes, but is is also called Mastara. We know that there are buried relics of ST. John. It was brought by Grigor the Lusavorich from Caesarea here. The village Mastara is called Mastara because — mas — translated as «relics». Mastara church was built in 5 century and repaired a few times in 7 century.
On the eastern and south walls of the church there were inscriptions the church was built in the 5 century by priest Grigor. That time the bishop was Teodoros Gnuni.
Architectural style of the church helps us understand that it was built 5 century and in 7 was only reconstructed. The repaired traces are found in the interior walls of the church Mastara, and it is a strong argument for this version. A lot of people thought that Mastara had been built in 7 century because caused by an incorrect interpretation word «shinel» which can be translated of two ideas, first as «build» and second as «reconstruct».
As we said above church of St Hovhannes Mastara was reconstructed several times in a different centuries. So in the 10-century southern entry was repaired by Sargis. After 9 century it was reconstructed again big walls were built around the church and it was used as a fortress. The walls were demolished in 1889 by priest’s.
The Mastara church has a complex architectural concept that had a transitional design period when Armenian simple churches started to construct more complex structures. But the magic is the Mastara church dome that has 11.2 diameters and is supported by 4 apses.
In the Soviet Armenian period in 1935, the church stopped working but it re-opened in 1993 when Armenia become an independent country. In the closed period, the St Hovhannes and most churches in Armenia didn’t function as a church. All churches became a collective farm storehouse.
The Church of St. Hovhannes (John) Mastara is an ancient Armenian church located in the Mastara village in Armenia.
Historical Significance: Ancient churches like the Church of St. Hovhannes Mastara had a rich history and cultural significance. They serve as important landmarks that showcase the religious and architectural heritage of a region.
Architectural Beauty: Armenian churches are known for their unique and intricate architectural styles. The Church of St. Hovhannes Mastara may feature traditional Armenian ecclesiastical design elements such as cross stones (khachkars), decorative carvings, and distinct structural features.
Spiritual and Religious Importance: Many people visit churches for spiritual and religious reasons. The Church of St. Hovhannes Mastara could be a place of worship, reflection, and pilgrimage for individuals seeking a connection with their faith or exploring the religious history of Armenia.
Cultural Exploration: Exploring ancient churches allows visitors to delve into the local culture and customs of the region. These sites often provide insights into the artistic and religious practices that have shaped the community over the centuries.
Scenic Surroundings: In addition to the church itself, the Mastara village and its surroundings might offer beautiful landscapes, picturesque views, and a glimpse into rural Armenian life. Visitors can enjoy the serene atmosphere and capture memorable photographs.
It’s important to note that the specific reasons for visiting a particular church can vary from person to person based on their individual interests and motivations. It’s always a good idea to conduct further research or consult local guides for detailed information about the Church of St. Hovhannes Mastara and its unique features before planning a visit.