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Detail of the ornamental blind arches on the east front



The exterior, in particular the west side, in elivened by various decorative elements such as bas-reliefs, with figures of doves and geometrical designs, a great cross in dark red stone placed in the centre, the assymetrical little windows and several khatchkars. This form of bell-tower is one the first examples of an architectural style which was to be much used in Armenia. Mention should at least be made of the many minor buildings around the monasterial complex that are now partly in ruins. The church of St.James, now in ruins, is similar to St. Astvatzatzin. The chapel of St.Haroutioun, with its single bi-apsed nave (XIII century) is more remarkable since it represent an architectural type that was fairly widespread in Armenia at that time. The church of St. Karapet, with a single nave and barrel vaulting dates from the mid-X century, with some additions and readjustments in the apsidal part (end X century, early XI century). The chapel of St. Sarkis, situated on a rock spur in a dominating position, was built around the end of the XII and the beginning of the XIII centuries. Among the numerous tomb constructions, apart from the already mentioned Kiurikian tomb at the edge of the perimeter of the monastery, there is the tomb of the Zakarian family, built in 1189 over the remains of a preceding building with the eastern part partially underground. The tomb of Arghoutian-Yerkainabazouk in the apsidal part (end X century, earlyXll century).
Among the ruins of the minor buildings and the annexes to the monastery three are still two fountains, one belonging to the village, characteristic of the two-arched type with a double-layered roof, built in 1255 and the monastery fountain which dates from 1831.

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Sanahin