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Interior of the gavit`: Interesting arches, detail of a column

The gavit' in the Gandzasar monastery (1240-1266) is also outstanding among buildings of the same type on account of its architecture. It consists of a quadrangular - plan hall, almost square (internal measurements are 11.85 by 13.45 metres), with a roof supported by two pairs of intersecting arches. This feature, typical of medieval Armenian art, was especially used in the architecture of 12th and 13th centuries gavit's and zhamatuns. Examples of buildings using such crossed arches are the gavit's of the church of Arak'elots (the Holy Apostles) at Ani (12th century), Horomayr, Haghbat, Khorakert, Deghdznut, Idjevan, the church of St. Sargis at Ushi, Arates and Nor Varagavank', along with the refectories at Haghbat and Haghartzin (all 13th century). However, the Gandzasar gavit' is rather special in the ground plan and disposition of structural masses. Added to the west of the main part, covered by cross arches, there is a complementary space separated from the central one by a pair of prismatic, monolithic columns with sixteen faces. The only other examples of this are to be found in the zhamatun at Haghbat and the gavit' at Mshkavank'.

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The monastery of Gandzasar