Church in Kish settlement - first Apostolic Church in Trans-Caucasus 

As it is known Christianity already take roots in Caucasian Albania in I -II centuries A.D. As any new religion, spreading of Christianity leaded to appearance of new culted construction. In initial period of Christianity in the whole front Asian region watched spreading of architecture of reserved religious society. It was connected with the fact , that in initial period cult was reckoned for limited circle of prayers, who strive to disjoin themselves from external world for communication with deity. In accordance with this fact architecture like isolated itself from external world. Culted monuments were deliberately weakly elucidated for creature of mystical sensation of nearness to deity. This architecture was severe by its forms, almost deprived from decor. Interiors were decided in simple and severe forms, without any elements of decor, as in early period of I-III c Christians didn’t define as a task artistic design of praying constructions. “God thus much filled their world , that evidently, transmission of this sensation by methods of art was impossible, and mainly needless.” (102, a. 573). However, in spite of similar “modesty” in method of approach to construction of culted constructions, reached us the material is proof of presence in early and middle ages of Caucasian Albania of numerous amount different to its planning features temples and churches. So analysis of saved constructions allowed to conclude that in this period raised hall temples - onesectional basilicas and their “derivative” - cupola hall, absence of separately standing under - cupola bearings which allow to add them to separate type. Besides, wide spreading got cupola and without cupola three sectional basilicas, round centrist temples, churches of “ free cross” and cross-cupola systems which became their continuation. Especially rich in monuments of Christian architecture is an area of Shaki, which located today on territory of Sheki-Zakatal region of Azerbaijan. Moissey Kalankaytuiskiy informs about beginning of church construction in Albania in I c A.D. , when “saint high priest” of Albania apostle Elysee arrives to Gis, constructed there first church and made a bloodless sacrifice. As it is known, that was first church not only in Albania but in the whole Trans-Caucasus. Traditionally it is identified with existed presently church in Kish settlement. In definite historical period this church was a residence of Gis-Kurmukh episcopacy (2, a. 20). “The original mother of all churches”, constructed in I c A.D. in Kish settlement (Gis) in 5 km from Sheki city by first preacher of Christianity in Trans-Caucasus St. Elysee was a typical example of early hall culted constructions. By its present appearance it obliged to reconstructions of VIIc, and more late reconstructions. In present condition this is “cupola hall” with evidently appeared rounded apsida, cupola on high drum and reveted with limestone walls, mirror like surface violated only by window openings. Six window openings of basic capacity have profiled jambs with three half rollers, middle of which twice wider than extreme. As a whole external appearance of the temple makes an impression of not once only of the whole construction. So, stretched proportions of cupola on high drum completely do not correspond quiet, heavy weight mass of basic capacity. Type of laying, gentle slops of a roof, simplicity and roughness of details’s prodrawing, jumbs of windows testify antiquity of lower parts of investigating construction. Undoubtedly Kish church repeatedly expose to alterations and renovations. By this fact is explained imperfection of its forms and proportions. In scientific literature there is no single opinion on dating of present church in Kish settlement. Although historical sources, relate its erection to early Christian period, architectural - stylistically features reached us do not allow to agree with it. As church is one of the earliest, not completely established cupola halls, so it could be constructed not earlier than VII c (3, a. 45). Undoubtedly, however, it was erected on foundations of more ancient temple, about which inform ancient authors. Sabina Gadjiyeva (candidate of architecture). 

Bibliography 1. Karakhmedova A.A. Christian monuments of Caucasian Albania - Baku, “Elm” , 1986 2. Svenitskaya I.S. Earlier Christianity: pages of history - M., Publication of political literature, 1987. 3. Mamedova G.G. Culted architecture of Caucasian Albania - Baku, “Elm”, 1997. From X up to XV c. Khotavank becomes Christian ecclesiastic centre of albanian Khachen princedom.

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