Cover picture © credits to takepicsforfun
Cover picture © credits to takepicsforfun
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Medieval Monasteries - Sanahin and Haghpat

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In Armenia, there are sites and places interesting to visit for travelers with different interest - people who like hiking can go to Dilijan or Khosrov forest, travelers who are into eco-tourism would like Kapan, winter sports lovers may wish to visit Tsaghkadzor, nature lovers will definitely fall in love with Yenokavan, people interested in culture can visit Megerian carpets or Teryan and Narekatsi cultural centers and so on. However, in recent years, Armenia become an increasingly popular destination among the Christians from all over the world as a country for pilgrimage. It has two main reasons: the first one is that Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity, and the second one is that in the territory of this country you may find hundreds of medieval churches and monastery complexes that survived throughout the centuries till our days. In this article, we will get familiar with two of the medieval Monasteries - Sanahin and Haghpat. Both of them can be visited in the same day, as they are very close to each other.

Picture © credits to atosan

Sanahin Monastery

Considered as a treasure of ancient Armenian architecture, the Sanahin Monastery is located nearby the city called Alaverdi. It was founded by the queen Khosravanush (a wife of the king Ashot III). The monastery was built from the 10th-13th century. The complex includes a main church called Amenaprkich - the Academy of Gregory Magistros that back then it served as an educational center, the St. Gregory the Illuminator Temple, as well as a belfry along with a scriptorium for writing. It perfectly fits the nature of the Lori province, and besides the complex, it's also worth to explore the surrounding area and enjoy the nature. This complex is under the UNESCO protection and is visited a lot.

Picture © credits to nicolasdecorte

Sanahin Monastery
Sanahin Monastery
Alaverdi, Armenië

Hagpat Monastery

Again, nearby the city of Alaverdi, is located another impressive monastery complex called Haghpat, founded in 976 by the same queen as Sanahin. From there, you can see the gorge and the river Debet flowing through it. In its territory, there are the Church Saint Nishan, another smaller church called Saint Gregory, a bell tower, and a library as it also served as a literary center. Here, you can also notice the Khachkars (Armenian cross-stones) that date back to the period between the 11th-13th century. The monastery complex survived the earthquakes and several attacks during the foreign invasions. In 1996, it was included in list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Usually, this area is cloudy, and there is almost always a light breeze which makes the exploring of the surrounding area even more pleasant.

Picture © credits to nicolasdecorte

Haghpat Monastery
Haghpat Monastery
Haghpat, Armenië

All those who visit Sanahin and Haghpat monasteries usually are impressed by the architecture of these complexes. Even if one has no idea how old they are, it won’t be difficult to guess, as you can feel the presence of history and ancient times by just walking around. Both of the medieval monasteries are located in the places that are isolated from the villages. When you get there, you will definitely wish to spend a couple of hours in that area.


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The author

Lusine Vardanyan

Lusine Vardanyan

I’m Lusine, from Armenia. I like to travel and explore new places. I'm interested in art, culture, music and sports. On itinari I’ll show you Armenia the way I see it.

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