There are two hidden gems somewhere in Dilijan National Park that are worth exploring. I am taking about the Goshavank monastery, which is one of the most impressive ones in Armenia, as well as the Gosh Lake situated about 2 km of hiking distance from there. The monastery is located among houses of the village, so while visiting it you will get a chance also to see how people of Armenian villages live. By the complex, they sell random local eco-herbs to make teas and to flavor food, homemade drinks-such as wine and vodka as well as traditional sweets. After exploring the monastery visitors usually make their way to Lake Gosh to have a bit rest and enjoy nature.
Goshavank is a monastery built in the 12th century. It is located in Gosh Village, Tavush province (marz) of Armenia. The monastery also served as an educational establishment during the Middle Agess, where were kept many books. Here were taught Armenian, Latin, Greek languages as well as music classes. Besides teaching languages, here they also created and copied handwritings. The Goshavank was built in 1188 exactly on the place of an ancient monastery Getic, which was destroyed by an earthquake.
credits to Lampochka
The monastery represents typical and traditional Armenian architecture of the Middle Ages. This complex consists of the Chuch Astvatsatin (1196 AD), Church of Saint Gregory (1241 AD), pre-entrance (1203 AD), a bookstore/library with a chapel (1291 AD), school (13th century), gallery (13th century) and chapel (13th century). All around the complex you can notice Armenian Khachkars that are carved stones with crosses.
credits to Sohadiszno
Mkhitar Gosh participated in the reconstruction of the monastery and later on the monastery was named after him. He was one of the most outstanding lawyers and public activists of his times as well as the author of the first code of laws including civil and Canon law that was used in both Greater Armenia and Cilicia. There is also a Medal of Mkhitar Gosh that is awarded by the President to those people who implement outstanding state and social-political activities, as well as for significant services in the spheres of diplomacy, law and political science.
credits to rparys (statue of Mkhitar Gosh)
In order to get to the Gosh Lake from the monastery, you either have to walk (some 2,5 km, though not an easy road) or find any local who has a car called “Willis” to take you there, as those are the only ones that can overcome the obstacles on the way. The surrounding area of the lake is calm and nice. Usually, it is very silent because of being far from the village. On the other hand, it's also located on top of the hill and there is almost always cooling and refreshing wind. It is an excellent place to camp and to spend a day in nature.
Making your way to these two hidden gems - the Goshavank Monastery and the Gosh Lake will be a nice combination of cultural and eco tour. I am sure that this trip will be a memorable one and it will be one of the sweetest moments you will remember after your Armenian journey.
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