The National Archive of Armenia is preparing for the publication of the cadasters of number of churches in Western Armenia. While examining the records of “The Secretary Fund of the Catholicos of All Armenians”, the staff of the National Archive of Armenia found unique and valuable cadastral documents which were issued by the Ottoman government, which record and describe in detail what lands and properties certain churches had.  

“The province, the village, the location, the estate, the borders and information about the vicinity are mentioned in those cadasters”, explained the head of the research division of the National Archive of Armenia, Gohar Avagyan. The 200 cadasters that are found belong to only a few churches. Separate document is prepared for each property, whether it is a field, a land, a shop or even a bath. All our churches have had such ownership certificates; however, currently there is no information about them.   
“These unique samples are saved and brought to the Mother See of Holy Echmiadzin the priest of Beyazid. The book complied by the National Archive of Armenia will include the photos of the original documents and short description of their content in Armenian, Russian and possibly in English”. There is a separate file which contains the cadasters of the Holy Virgin Church of Beyazid. The church does not exist anymore, its sealed ownership document, however, is indisputable and termless. The cadaster of the Beyazid church is given in Ottoman language, and we have the Armenian translation of it. The text states that it is as obvious as the sun that this territory belongs to the Armenian Church”, observed Gohar Avagyan.    
According to her, the documents faced obstacles during the preparations of their publication, especially in terms of translating the Ottoman names. The price of the estate is also mentioned there. “It should be examined deeper and make comparisons in order to know the amount of the cost in modern currency, the worth of the land and etc. Considering that these 150-170 cadasters are related to only a few churches, adding them on the rest of the churches, we face a serious quantity of them”, mentioned Avagyan.    
The cadasters of the churches are documents of legal basis. The authors hope that, after publishing, the book will be an important material for the specialists.

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