Listening for the Alien Heartbeat

The church at Odzun, built in the 6th century, still stands:

Odzun 6th Century Church

and is still used.  An ancient Madonna from an ancient church:

Odzun Ancient Church - Ancient Madonna

Child born 1840, died 1840The cemetery outside has a testament to Armenia’s ancient power:
a gift from an Indian king in the 8th century,
and modern subjugation:
the graves of those who were born and died while Armenia was still under the Ottoman empire
just before the modern age was born.

Many of the graves speak of tougher times, of children who died in the same year they were born.

The village of Odzun now seems a typical Armenian farming community, hay and dung piled high, men still moving firewood by donkey, and metal baths outside houses:

House with Bath outside

though I never worked out whether these were actually for bathing.  Nearby the Horomayri Monastery, a ruin on the edge of the plateau, facing mountains:

Odzun-Ancient Monastery at Edge of Cliff

Edge of a plateau really means at the edge:

Monastery at Edge of Cliff

But I left depressed that such an ancient, mountain-facing house of prayer could be so surrounded by rubbish:

Ancient Monastery in Rubbish Dump

(events 01 Dec 2012)

5 Responses to “Born 1840, Died 1840”

  1. rowland

    That’s quite a view – from the looks of the masonry, the builders must have been pretty good. Is it maintained by the locals at all, or completely abandoned?

    • alienheartbeat

      (apologies for delay – 3 days traveling)

      Looks completely abandoned. However may be not a bad thing. Two I saw being renovated were being renovated poorly, with a loss of character. Best was one with two resident old ladies, one prim, one insane, who kept the church and surrounds spotless. This place needs a couple of old ladies.

    • alienheartbeat

      Yes; I think part of the problem is that civil society, with civil responsibility, hasn’t yet fully established itself after the collapse of the soviet union. This is a bit surprising given that the Armenian people have a strong sense of history and culture, but unsurprising given that it seems to be run by oligarchs with bodyguards

      • Anarya Andir

        Yeah that’s actually a good way to assess the situation. I hope something is done to protect such monuments better. I mean Armenia is full of them and has so much rich history to preserve


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