14 March, 2018 Tavush Region 3401 Views

Haghartsin Monastery

Haghartsin is a 13th-century monastery located near the town of Dilijan. It was built between the 10th and 13th centuries; much of it under the patronage of the Bagratuni Dynasty. The monastery is nestled in a temperate rainforest on a mountainside. The combination of natural and architectural beauty is very impressive. It is one of those spots in Armenia that feels like you are walking through a huge, unreal movie set. 
Traditionally, an eagle was soaring over the dome of the main building at its dedication and thus it became commonly known as the monastery of the playing (or soaring) eagle ("Hagh" means a game while "Artsin" a form of "Artsiv" means eagle in Armenian).

Monastery complex
There are three main buildings still standing. Two to the left, and one to the right. One named for Gregory the Illuminator; another for the Virgin Mary (Surp Astvatsatsin); and the third for St Stephen (Stepanos). There are stunning khachkars, a sundial on the wall of St Gregory, a ruined gavit and a refectory with stunning arched ceiling.
The refectory of Haghardzin, built by the architect Minas in 1248, is a structure of a rare composition. The structure is divided by pillars into two square-plan parts roofed with a system of intersecting arches.

Among the memorial khachkars of Haghartsin there are unique and highly artistic ones. Of interest is the ornamental carving of a thirteenth-century khachkar placed next to the southern door of St. Astvatsatsin church in Haghardzin. 

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