Virgin Mary, defaced, in the apse of the Akhtala Monastery

Also along the Debed Gorge, a short distance away from the Sanahin and Haghpat Monasteries, is the newer Akhtala Monastery, probably built between 1212 and 1250, although there has been an earlier 10th C structure here, too – quite likely as part of a fortress. The main feature here, besides its once again spectacular location, are the 13th Century frescoes. Apparently, the church dome collapsed in the 18th Century, so how the frescoes have survived so vividly is a small miracle (although one source claims that some of the murals have been renovated in 1979).

the entire back wall decorated with murals

beautifully decorated door at one side of the church

one side of the Mother of God church in the Akhtala Monastery complex

decoration with large cross and windows

more frescoes, in a large scene

frescoes in the church

and even more frescoes

a very bright panel of frescoes

church men

the inside of the windows painted

with recognisable figures

against a dark blue background

and what about this one?

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