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Churches and Monasteries

“The history of the Armenian nation does not depend on the written record alone, but is substantiated by a mass of standing remains, ranging from the ancient and medieval capitals to the isolated castles and monasteries which so characteristically mark the landscape.” -Richard G. Hovannisian

  • Saghmosavank Monaster

    Saghmosavank Monastery is looking down from the edge of the gorge. The beauty of the architectural ensemble is especially expressive and picturesque when viewed from the opposite side. The church is dramatic example of 13 century architecture and its style is considered to be a faithful reflection of significant trends in Armenian art from middle ages. A wall of red stones encloses most of the monastery and there are orchards nearby.

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  • Karmravor

    Karmravor church is located in the town of Ashtarak famous for its ancient monuments. The church takes its name from its red tiled roof. It is a tiny chapel with a simple structure in the shape of a cross. Despite it dates back to the 7th century, the remains of the church are in a good state of preservation due to the fact that it hasn’t endured the destructive force of natural calamities or foreign invasions.

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  • Sanahin Monastery

    Sanahin Monastery represents the highest peak of Armenian religious architecture and was built by architect Trdat for princes Gourgen and Smbat. Here both elements of Byzantine and traditional Armenian architecture are presented. Sanahin and Haghpat complexes are similar in compositions, various structures and even in decorations. This gives us ground to suppose that they belong to the same epoch and were created by craftsmen of the same school.

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  • Haghpat Monastery

    Haghpat Monastery which was founded in the 10th century is especially impressive for well-preserved architectural structures, three-storied bell tower and cross-stones on the ground of the churches. The religious complex has also its own Library with a number of spiritual manuscripts and books. In the 10th-13th centuries this monastery was not only religious but also important educational center for Armenians.

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  • Tatev Monastery

    One of the most visited pilgrimage sites in Armenia - Tatev Monastery - looms high above the village of the same name. The complex was originally built in the ninth century and served for many years as a regional center and as a fortress against foreign invasion. The ropeway that was constructed in Tatev in 2010 is the world’s longest, and spans 5.7 kilometers (3.5 miles) between its two terminals.

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  • Noravank

    Noravank is a medieval Armenian monastery famous for not only with its appearance but also with the surrounding marvelous scenery. The monastic complex was founded in 1205 and includes the church of St. Karapet, St. Grigor chapel, and the church of St. Astvatsatsin. Among the decorations over one of the entrances one can find exclusive and rare sculpture with the image of Father God. Noravank is located 122 km from Yerevan.

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  • Khor Virap

    Khor Virap Monastery is one of the most iconic places in Armenia, and certainly one of the most photographed scenes. The region where the monastic complex is located is the closest point to the mountain Ararat within the borders of Armenia, just 35 kilometers. Khor Virap is directly connected with the adoption of Christianity. St. Gregory the Illuminator - first official head of the Armenian Apostolic church - was imprisoned here for 14 years by Armenian king Trdat III.

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  • Echmiadzin Cathedral

    Echmiadzin is the religious center of the country and included in the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. It consists of several buildings including the main cathedral and churches St.Gayane and St. Hripsime dating back to the 7th century and relatively new St Shoghakat. Within the cathedral there is a museum with Treasures such as the Holy Lance that pierced the side of Christ and the reliquary with the relic of Jesus Christ’s wooden cross.

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  • Hayravank

    Hayravank monastery is located on the shore of Lake Sevan not far away from Hayravank Village. The three main constructions of the monastery are the church, the chapel and a hall. There are several magnificent khackars in the churchyard. The interior is rather simple, but it causes excitement and pleasure especially when the sun hits the narrow windows of the church creating a thrilling sensation of holiness.

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  • Goshavank

    The impressive monastery was built in the 12th century by famous scholar, priest and writer Mkhitar Gosh and has remained in a relatively good condition. The monastic complex stands in the mountain village of Gosh and used to be one of the leading religious and educational centers of medieval Armenia. Here one can find the unique examples of kachkars carved by master Poghos.

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  • Haghartsin

    Haghartsin is a monastic complex located 18 kilometers from Dilijan. It was built in the 12th-13th centuries. The monastery was built far from the roads and noisy city life, in a safe place enclosed in the remarkable Armenian nature. The combination of natural and architectural beauty is very impressive. The monastery of Haghartsin includes three churches: Saint Atsvatsatsin (Holy Mother) Church, which is the monastery’s main church, Saint Grigor church and Saint Stepanos Church.

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  • Sevanvank

    Sevanvank is a monastic complex consisting of two churches which are founded in 874 AD. It is located on the rocky peninsula and according to an inscription the monastery was built by Armenian princess Mariam, daughter of Ashot I. Nearby the churches are benches where tourists can enjoy an amazing scene of Sevan. It is one of the most visited tourism sights in Armenia.

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  • Geghard Monastery

    Geghard Monastery is included in the list of UNSECO’s World heritage sites. The Monastic complex with several churches and chapels has an extensive interest for visitors. Some chapels are built into the rock itself which are the most exciting part of it. Many Armenians visit Geghard Monastery in order to splash themselves with holy water.

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