Monastery Vahanavank - Golden Apricot Tour

Monastery Vahanavank

Monastery Vahanavank

Vahanavank, a miracle of Syunik, was constructed in 911 by Vahan, the count of Syunik, who opted for a religious life over secular pursuits. This monastic complex was his retreat, built as an expression of his devotion to solitude and spiritual reflection. Legend tells of Vahan’s deep religious fervor, which led him to forsake worldly affairs and embrace the life of a hermit. Upon his recovery from an illness, he felt compelled to express gratitude to the divine by commissioning the construction of this magnificent monastery.

Situated approximately 7 kilometers southwest of Kapan, along the banks of the Voghji River on the mountainside of Tigranasar, Vahanavank comprises several structures, including the St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, the two-story colonnade mausoleum-church of St. Holy Mother (St. Astvatsatsin), a narthex (gavit), dining hall, and portico. Through generous donations, the monastery thrived, swiftly becoming a significant spiritual and cultural center in the region. In the 11th century, King Grigor of Syunik contributed to its expansion and enhancement, further solidifying its importance.

Notably, the narthex (gavit), erected by Vahan Jhevanshiryan, the monastery’s abbot, in the 11th century, stands as a remarkable architectural feature. Crafted from a single massive rock, the narthex boasts three archways adorned with sculpted capitals and intricate cornices.

Originally serving as a mausoleum, St. Holy Mother Church was later converted into a place of worship. Though ancient inscriptions at Vahanavank reference other churches, such as St. Haroutyun and St. Sion, their precise locations remain unknown. Vahanavank also served as a seminary during medieval times, educating many prominent individuals from Syunik.

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