Noravank Monastery: The History of Foundation
Noravank Monastery (“New Monastery”) is the pearl of Armenian architecture which was founded in 1205. In the 13th century Noravank monastic complex was almost as important and great as the religious center of Syunik Kingdom- Tatev. Noravanq was known as the tomb of Orbelyan family. Several generations of Orbelyan Syunik principality ruled during 1211-1435 period. The convent was founded during Liparit Orbelyan ruler ship- the founder of Orbelyan Syunik principality.In an era of Mongol subjugation of Armenia due to his diplomatic talent, Liparit saved principality and magnified him, he also proclaimed the principality, as an autonomous political entity.
The architectural complex included St. Karapet church (St. John the Baptist), the chapel of Surb Grigor (St. Gregory) with a vaulted hall and church Surb Astvacacin. Astvacacin Church was built by Prince Burtele Orbelyan in 1339. The building is a highly artistic monument. Narrow stone steps on the facade of the church lead to the second floor. Nearby the monastery are located numerous cross-stones, which have intricate carvings over most of the surface.
Noravank Monastery: The Legend of Master Momik
Noravank Monastery has been repeatedly destroyed. It was restored by the famous architect, sculptor and miniaturist Momik in 1321. According to legend master Momik fell in love with the daughter of the prince. And when the prince found out about it, he called for Momik and ordered to build a beautiful monastery without assistance, as the evidence of his love for the princess. When master met the deadline in time prince sent his servant to inspect the newly-born monastery. When Momik with the Prince’s servant went to the bell tower, in order to examine it, the servant pushed him off, and he fell with a beautiful cross-stone in his hands, which became the tombstone of the architect.