The external shape of the Gandzasar church, the essential architectural features of Armenian churches
The west tymphanum of the church. Jesus crucifield between two kings in player /general view/
The side of the bema facing the hall bears particularly rich and delicate decoration: it is edged all around by interweaving motifs and a fascia, the middle part of which is decorated with losanges and triangles. In turn, the losanges are embellished with ever different and complicated interweaving motifs. Similar decoration is also found on the 13th century bema in the main church at Haridchavank'.
The external shape of the Gandzasar church, the disposition of its masses and, especially, its decoration clearly show how intent architect was on giving the building a majestic, monumental aspect in order to display the power of the principality of Khatchen and the position and authority of its lord, Hasan-Djalal, over all Armenia. The church is tall and graceful in profile with its predominant and central dome. On each of three facades (east, north and south) there are a pair of triangular-section niches, essential architectural features of Armenian churches of this type.