To the question on study of Albanian Christian monuments, settled on the territory of Upper Karabagh. 

Sabina Gadjiyeva Candidate of Architecture 

One of the main historical stages of traditionally known as Moslem country Azerbaijan presents by itself a Christianity. However to Christian architecture of Caucasian Albania for the past time was not given proper attention, what created a possibility for Armenian scientists illegally reckon in to Armenian culture located on the territory of historical Azerbaijan monuments of Albanian nation. And great cultural prosperity of early, middle ages of Azerbaijan was presented first by rich monuments of Christian cult. Created in the beginning of era Christian learning took roots in Albania in 1 c AD, although it was officially accepted as state religion only in IVc. In VII-VIII cc. Albanian church was so strong, that even invasion of Arabs to Azerbaijan, couldn't eradicate its influence and power, and only a little bit weakened its positions. A new prosperity of Christianity was connected to rise of Khachen Albanian princedom, which already from the end of XII c, played a great role in history of Albania. In written sources an area was called in different ways: Arcakh, Maly Sunic, Khachen, Karabagh. The head of dynasty was a clan of Jalalids, descended from dynasty of Sasanids. Representatives of dynasty had titles: prince of "Sunic and Albania", "tsar of Albania", "ruler of Albanian surroundings" and so on. Jalalids kept political and temporal power in Khachen up to XV c., after they became ecclesiastic rulers. In political and church sense an influence of Arcakh was significant. Priesthood together with temporal aristocracy participated in all Albanian church cathedrals. So, powerful prince Gasan Jalal Davla, by Kirakos Gandzakskiy, "husband pious and devout, modest and merciful" respected the priests and attached an importance to the role of church in economical, political and ecclesiastic sense. In the period of his ruling rose lost after invasion to Azerbaijan Arabian power of Albanian church, which had in this period its auto grey mullet catalicosat, alphabet, rich literature, Albanian ethos. There were numerous complexes, which contained temples of nice artwork, libraries, schools, depots of manuscripts. Instead of more ancient were created new temples and renewed old ones (Mamrukh-Zakatal region; Big Aran, St. Elysey, Gandzasar-Agderin region; Khotavank-Kelbajar region and others.) Inside cathedrals were painted by fresco, carving, ornamented undercupola drums of cathedrals. Monasteries were focus of culture of christianized areas, similar to the fact that Moslem complexes were centers of Islamic part of Azerbaijan. Construction of Christian culted monuments continued till 1836., when Albanian church was abolished and subordinated to Armenian, and there started forcible resettlement of Armenian families to the territory of Azerbaijan (1, 2, 3, 4), and special rescript of Saint Sinod attached cathedral of Albania Gandzasar to Armenian church. At the end of the day azerbaijanian nation lost a part of architectural monuments, which by mistake were related to alien culture. However the process of their creature, planning and decorative features, similar to creatures of Moslem architecture of azerbaijanian nation and at the same time differing from monuments of other Christian countries testify its belonging precisely to Albanian culture. Especially rich with monuments of Albanian architecture territory of Upper Karabagh of Azerbaijan, where was saved a great number of beautiful churches and complexes, unfortunately presently located under the threat of illegally carrying out falsifications from the side of Armenian occupants. One of similar to these monuments is a complex, located in Martunin region of Upper Karabagh. An interesting is the planning feature of this complex, the main capacity of which consists of joint with one common vestibule of one hall churches. Churches differ in its sizes and do not have a common wall, their apses added to rectangles of eastern walls. A special interest is a vestibule, similar, by its planning-construction scheme, with many other vestibules of Albanian architecture, also with vestibule of Gandzasar cathedral, which has light aperture on the top by type of ancient azerbaijanian "karadam" cover. Churches of complex well decorated by all possible crosses which met in Albanian architecture. This complex as it was considered long time ago, had a power to help childless couples to find a child. This fact is especially interesting from the point of study the reasons of appropriation of those or other names of churches of Caucasian Albania. So, monasteries of Caucasian Albania, as it is well known, very seldom were called by names of traditional saints. More often monasteries were devoted to the first preacher of Christianity in Azerbaijan Saint Elysey. Also churches constructed in the name of the Virgin, what was a continuation existed from long ago in Albania respect of woman - home keeper, fertility (earthen statuettes over hearth in ancient settlements), and also consonant to the topic of long-expected birth of child. This aspect makes related a complex in Martunin region with church in Kish of Sheki region, which is also famous with capability to cure and help childless mothers. To Kish church and to all other churches on the territory of Azerbaijan, as it is well known, come people out of depending of religious belonging. It is related to Azerbaijan, nation of which during many centuries confessed different religions and existed in peace. 1. Velichko V.L. - Caucasus. Russian concern and intertribal questions - Full collection of works, th. 1St. Petersburg - 1904 - Baku, "Elm", 1990. 2. Glinka S.A. Description of adderbijan Armenian's resettlement to the bounds of Russia - Moscow, typography of Lazarevikh Institute of Eastern Languages, 1831. 3. Griboyedov A.S. - Works in two th., th.2 - Publishing House "Pravda", M., 1971, pages 339-341. 4. Shavrov N.I. - New threat to Russian concern in Trans Caucasus: forthcoming sale of Mugan to foreigners - Spb., 1911, pages 59-61.

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