Idea #515 – Visiting the monastery of Haghpat in Armenia
The monastery of Sanahin and the one of Haghpat, are situated in the marz of Lorri. These two Byzantine monasteries, founded during the period of prosperity of the dynasty of Kiurikian, were important centers of releasing of the Armenian culture. Both monastic complexes represent the most remarkable architectural example of the Armenian religious art, arisen from the alliance of elements of the Byzantine religious architecture and from the traditional vernacular architecture of this region of the Caucasus, which developed between the Xth and the XIIIth centuries.
The monastery of Haghpat was founded in the IVth century, under the reign of Abas Bagratouni. The main church, said Sourp Nshan (“Saint sign”), was built on order of queen Khosrovanouch, wife of Achot the Merciful, to assure the longevity and the prosperity of her sons, Smat and Gourgen. After the fall of Bagratides, to Ani, in 1064, the monastery decays, until zakaridan period. The monastery was then very widely completed and enlarged, in parallel of that of the monastery of Sanahin, and that of the fortress of Kayan intended to protect them from Mongolian troops.
After the taking of Ani by the Mongols in 1236, monasteries are ransacked. Several times reconstructed, they are again plundered by the Ottoman legions of Timur. From 1759 till 1795, monasteries know a new golden age, developing their libraries, and their academies.
To Haghpat, the main church is dedicated to the Saint-sign ( Sourp Nshan) and preceded by a gavit or narthex built by 1201. The monastery was the place formerly the mausoleum of king bagratide of Lorri Kuriké III. The second chapel is dedicated to Saint Grégoire; she(it) was built between 1005 and 1025. The monastery also counts a small chapel, the Sourp Astvatsatsin. The monastery of Haghpat is registered on the UNESCO world heritage list.
Where is it?
Monastery of Hagpat, Lorri, Armenia