Those who ever happen to be in Dilijan should not miss a chance to visit the Haghartsin Monastery that is located in a breathtakingly beautiful Dilijan National Park. The name of Haghartsin monastery means “soaring eagle”. It was named so as at its dedication eagle was soaring over the dome (“Hagh” means playing/soaring and “arts” refers to an eagle). You can get there by driving through a mountain road or just hiking. Even if you are not interested in visiting historical places and monasteries, this one will make you fall in love with it. It usually has many visitors, however, depending on a season it can be less crowded and you can fully enjoy it. The surrounding area is peaceful and serene, which makes it even more mysterious.
Picture © credits to 1255k
The gorgeousness of the monastery is in its location, as from there you have a fantastic view and in the ivory color of the facade that is in perfect contrast with the surrounding green wood. While from the outside the monasteries of Armenia look different from one another, from the inside they all have something in common. All of them are simple and dark inside, and usually, it is lit by the sunshine that is seen through the little holes made on the wall. In one word, Haghartsin, like all the other Armenian monasteries, is not decorated with colorful paintings and statues which helps you to be more concentrated on your prayer.
Picture © credits to nicolasdecorte
Hagartsin is a 13th-century monastery built during the Bagratid dynasty. The complex includes three churches. The St. Astvatsatsin is the biggest one, on the facade of which you can notice the sculptures. The other one is the church called the St. Gregory, again with the sculptures and with a cross-shaped window. The third one is the St. Stepanos church that is the smallest one in the complex. In its territory, you can notice many old Khachkars (Armenian cross-stones).
Picture © credits to efesenko
Thanks to the donation of HH Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al-Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah, the complex has been restored. They say what he asked in return was a permission to build a house not far from the Haghartsin with a view to the complex. Very often, there take place some cultural events followed by the Armenian folk dances. Beyond the walls of the complex, you can notice the locals selling some herbs and homemade eco-products. There is also a huge tree by the complex, that has a hole in it, and any person can make a wish and pass through it, thus making their dream come true.
Picture © credits to efesenko
The monastery of the soaring eagle attracts many travelers with its uniqueness, however, in the in this territory, there are many sites besides the Haghartsin such as Lake Parz or any other place highlighted in my article on Dilijan National Park, that you will definitely like. So, while planning your trip there, arrange it at least for one full day to make sure you visit at least a couple of them.
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