St. Yelisey Temple Complex

St. Yelisey Temple Complex is located in the north-east of the Maghavuz (Madagiz) village of Tartar district, at an altitude of 2000 m above sea level. According to legend, the temple was built in the fifth century, in honor of Yelisey, the first preacher of Christianity in Albania. A fortress of the complex has a very comfortable position and provides a strong defense and it is typical for medieval Azerbaijan.

The Complex is surrounded by fortress walls on all sides. The western gate of the fortress guarantees the defense of the complex. There are 18 various buildings inside the fortress: the main temple, chapels, a two-storied residential house, service buildings, and stables. 

The main temple consists of two rooms. The first room is square-shaped and divided into three naves by means of two columns and two half-columns. The central nave is much higher than the other ones. The naves are covered by cylindrical vaults. On the roof, there is a steeple on the four columns. The second part of the main temple is a rectangular prayer hall. 

The facades of the Temple are covered with well-hewn stone. The second building of the Temple is a relatively small church located on the right side of the temple. There are six chapels on the right and left sides of the main temple. A single-span bridge built over the river 1 km away from the fortress was the basic linkage with the fortress. St. Yelisey Temple Complex dates back to the 14th century.

  1. “Terter Region”, Armenian Vandalism: Azerbaijani Monuments in Captivity
  2. “Monasteries and Temples”, Karabakh.org