2010 World Monuments Watch
The vestiges of the 13th-century Aghjots Monastery complex rest serenely on a slope of a gorge near Garni Village in Armenia. Only a few walls and thick blocks of stones remain of a vestibule and two churches for St. Peter and St. Paul, but the surfaces of these blocks depict an elaborate narrative of the site. The walls of the church are inscribed with descriptions of the history of the site, and cross-stones with detailed floral and decorative carvings around a central cross emerge at all angles from the ground. A peculiar stylistic element that is commonly found in Gothic and Romanesque churches in Europe, but rarely found in Armenia, is two full-length 14th-century reliefs of Apostles Peter and Paul that flank the portal of a roofless nave. Aghjots Monastery has endured 17th-century invasions, the 1679 earthquake, 18th-century pillaging, and the 1905–1906 Armeno-Tatar fights. It is in dire condition and Watch listing will assist efforts to bring greater attention to the site. Currently, a survey of the monument is proposed in order to document the reliefs and current conditions of the structure to plan appropriate measures for their conservation.