The Armenian St. Gregory the Enlightener Church from Balti ( 1910-1916) symbolizes a sign of the settlement of Armenians in Moldova. During the second part of the 19th century and namely in 1858 there were 2275 Armenians in Bessarabia and they lived mostly in the capital Chisinau and Balti. Moldovian trade was dominated by Armenians and they played a crucial role in the development of Moldovan towns. The early refugees belonged to the upper classes, they were aristocrats, merchants and craftsmen, so they used their skills and a range of Oriental and European languages to preserve Armenian heritage. The Armenian Church was founded by Mert Lusahanovici Ivanov, who built it in the memory of his brothers Christopher and Gregory, founders of the basement crypt. The building reminds of the Ecimiadzin Monastery design which is the residence of all Armenians.
The form of the building dominated by two vertical accents, the dome above the nave and the bell tower attached to the entry and the pyramidal roofs are elements of architecture found in all Armenian churches. The inner and outer plastic decoration is in conformity with the modern requirements. The exterior walls are decorated with varied dressed rough stone. The roof is covered with red tiles. Saint Gregory the Enlightener Church is eventually abandoned but the building proves the venerable age of the Armenian community who played a role in the development of the town. The interior of the church is rarely opened because Armenians are not involved in neither economic nor social or cultural life of the place. Local Armenian roots slowly died out.
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