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Rambler's Top100

MATENADARAN
: Itineraries | : admin | 15.03.2007, 05:53


In the center of Yerevan, right at the end of the avenue bearing the name of great ashtots the monumental building of grey basalt rises. It is MATENADARAN - the State Repository of ancient manuscripts. The building was erected in 1957, the evidence of which is four copper Armenian letters at the entrance on the floor. It was built in the spirit of traditions of national architecture of II-XIII centuries. In front of the building the monument to Mesrop Mashtots - the founder of the Armenian writing- was built. On both sides from the front entrance six more sculptures were established, among which are sculpture of the ancestor of historiography Movses Khorenatsy and outstanding scientist Ananya Shirakatsi.
On the wall the following words were engraved: " To learn wisdom and exhortation, to understand sayings of reason " These were the first words traced on parchment with the newly created Armenian letters.
The interiors of Matenadaran were enriched with sculpture, ceramics, fresco and mosaic. All this creates impression of solemnity and simplicity.
In funds of Matenadaran more than 16 thousand manuscripts are kept and studied. This collection is constantly replenished with new finds, gains and gifts, which are flowing down from all over the world. The most part of manuscripts had skin bindings with a stamping; the part was made in silver frameworks. Parchments of manuscripts were richly decorated with a miniature that itself represents a work of art.
On the ground floor the repository of manuscripts is located. Here there are laboratories intended for work on manuscripts - their studying, restoration, photographing, etc.
On the upper floors studies of researchers, a reading room and a show room are located.
Pearl of Matenadaran are the works of the Armenian historians, mathematicians, astronomers, geographers, and doctors. Here there are both well-known code of laws of Mkhitar Gosh and verses of the well-known medieval poets. The best samples of manuscripts are shown in the show room.In Matenadaran there are both the first Armenian book "Parzatumar" (calendar) issued in 1512 and the first Armenian magazine Azdarar (Bulletin), issued in Madras in 1794.
In Matenadaran the biggest Armenian hand-written book 34 kg of weight for whose creation it was required 700 calfskins, and the baby -manuscript in weight of 12 gramme were also preserved. Among the manuscripts of Matenadaran there are monuments of Greek, Syrian and other writings. Originals of some were lost, but they were preserved in the Armenian translation.
Alongside Armenian manuscripts about thousand hand-written monuments in Persian, Greek, Latin, Russian and other languages were preserved in Matenadaran.
Earlier all these manuscripts were kept in Echmiadzin monastery and only in 1939 were transported to Yerevan. Among former monastic relics was the Lazar Gospel on parchment (in 887) and on paper (in 891). Here were both many historical works: " Life of Mashtots" - the biography of the founder of the Armenian alphabet, executed in the 40-s of the V century by his pupil Koryun, " the History of Armenia since the most ancient times before the decline of the Arshakids in 428, written by Movses Khorenatsy and many other compositions of scientists of antiquity. Here there were also the most ancient miniatures of VI-VII centuries and " The Echmiadzin Gospel" of 383 with the rarest samples of book painting.
Scientific and cognitive value of Matenadaran is beyond controversy. Here not only valuable manuscripts are exhibited. All this huge wealth of spiritual culture created within many centuries, are studied, translated and published by employees of Matenadaran.
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