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A partial view of the interior



Tombstones of famous people, both lay and religious, cover the floors of the two gavits and of the Academy. Inside the church the moulded capitols of the four central pillars, and the sequence of little columns alternated by triangular niches in the the walls of the central apse, underline the great spatial unity of the hall. Outside, the elaborately worked portals and windows are in contrast to the smooth surfaces of the walls. The facades to the east, west and north of the church were partially decorated with blind arches presumably towards the end of the XI century. The small double columns on the facade and triple columns at the corners stand out from the flat blackground of the walls,their capitols and bases are carved with animal heads and decorated with ornamental motifs, thus enlivening the simplicity of the facade. The four diagonal arches press on to four half-columns, placed at the centre of the walls of the room. The capitols and bases are of prismatic shape, and decorated with patterns of leaves, intertwining bands, rosettes and carefully carved crosses. Special attention should be given to the capitol of the half-column on the north side, which is decorated with serpents and human faces sculpted with particular power.

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Sanahin