At a crucial crossroads of medieval Armenia, between some of the major historic capitals of the nation, stands what was once one of the grandest cathedrals in all of Armenia - the seventh century Talin Cathedral. Today, partly due to regional shifts of power, unfavorable border lines, and natural disasters, it stands largely forgotten. The town of Talin, one of the oldest in the province, is largely ignored as well. Walking amongst the orange and brown pillars of the cathedral today, a first impression is it’s grand size. Second is the realization that its roof is completely collapsed.
In 1840, an earthquake sent the part of the cathedral in pieces, and little restoration effort have been put to restore it to its former splendor. The Talin Cathedral deserves its place on the map as one of the first examples of a domed basilica in Armenia and a predecesor to the splendor of the city of Ani 30 kilometers to the west and also lying in ruins. However, unlike Ani, the Talin Cathedral still sits in the modern borders of Armenia.
The cathedral is situated in the town of Talin, nearly halfway between the cities of Yerevan and Gyumri.
Originally constructed in the 7th century and in use for hundreds of years.
A place of worship for the town of Talin, one of the first settlements in the province, Aragatston.
Since the 19th century when the cathedral was half way destroyed by an earthquake, it sits there nearly abandoned in the center of town.
On our way to Gyumri, I asked our hired driver to take a detour to the town of Talin. He agreed, although he was unsure where he was headed. A few minutes into town, the towering, and dilapidated, cathedral emerged. Walking amongst the site reminded me of wandering around the ruins of Ani. Unlike Ani though, no one else was here and no entrance fee needed. The size was incredible, especially with the collapsed dome allowing the sun to shine brightly into the hall. As a quick detour, I found it worthwhile to dive a little deeper into the lost past of the glories of medieval Armenia.