Goshavank Monastery

Goshavank Monastery

Goshavank Monastery is another masterpiece of ancient Armenian architecture. Situated in the dense oak forests of the picturesque Dilijan region, in the village of Gosh, Goshavank was once one of the main medieval universities with a book depository. Armenian, Greek, Latin, and some other foreign languages, as well as music, were studied here. Besides being an educational institution, manuscripts were created and copied here. Goshavank was built in 1188, on the site of the ancient Getik Monastery, which was destroyed by an earthquake. Mkhitar Gosh, an outstanding Armenian thinker, statesman, author of numerous fables and parables, and the author of the first criminal code, took part in the reconstruction of the monastery. The monastery was later named after him.

Goshavank lacks external walls and is surrounded by turbulent mountain rivers and village houses. Only peasant houses surround the monastery, some of which are at a considerable distance. The magnificent landscape makes this attraction the most popular tourist destination.

The monastery complex includes the Church of St. Astvatsatsin (1196), the Church of St. Gregory (1241), the refectory (1203), the book depository with a bell tower (1291), a school (13th century), a gallery (13th century), and a chapel (13th century). All the buildings of the complex were built in a classical style with all the traditions of the era, without decoration and with a cross-shaped facade. The central building is adorned with a huge dome or a round high drum.

Goshavank Monastery is known for its khachkars. One of them, placed at the entrance to the Church of St. Gregory, was created by one of the greatest medieval Armenian masters, Pogos, whose other masterpiece is presented in Yerevan, in the Museum of Armenian History. These two khachkars are called “embroidered” due to the complex and very intricate execution technique.

Today, Goshavank does not function as a cult object of the Armenian Apostolic Church, although some restoration work has been carried out there recently.

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