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Trip Planner Asia  /  Armenia  /  Aragatsotn  /  Oshakan


Churches · Ruins · Cemeteries
Oshakan is a major village in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia located 8 kilometers southwest from Ashtarak. It is well known to historians and pilgrims of the Armenian Apostolic Church.HistoryDuring the Arsacid Dynasty of the Kingdom of Armenia, it served as the main town of Ayrarat province and the capital of its Aragatsotn canton from which the Amatuni noble family ruled. However, Oshakan is best known for the Saint Mesrop Mashtots Cathedral which is the burial place of Saint Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the Armenian alphabet. The church houses his grave and was rebuilt by Catholicos George IV in 1875. Wall paintings on the interior were done in 1960 by the artist H. Minasian. Saint Mesrop Cathedral is the seat of the Aragatsotn Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church.Just to the south of the town is the Didikond Hill, where excavations have uncovered a fort and five palaces built around the 7th to 5th centuries BC.To the north of town located in the Mankanots Valley is Saint Sion Church dating from the 7th century AD. It is believed to mark the grave of Byzantine Emperor Mauricius or his mother, as one historian claims he came from Oshakan. Adjacent to the church is a pillar on a plinth dated to the 6th or 7th century.
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