Throughout centuries, Armenian monasteries have played a great role in the spiritual, cultural and political life of the Armenian people. These holy sites are recognized not only as centers of prayer, but also as scriptoriums where numerous works and translations were scripted, hand-copied and passed on to generations to come. Many of the church complexes represent magnificent and inimitable samples of the Armenian ancient and medieval architecture.
This is the name of many small chapel-like buildings that are spread throughout Armenia and are mainly located on altitudes or at water sources (they can be also found in human-populated areas). They are considered holy and healing, and have their celebration days.
The Monastery of Holy Savior is one of the oldest buildings in New Julfa (now a quarter in the Iranian city of Isfahan). Its church was built in 1655. It is richly decorated with frescoes authored by Hovhannes Mrkuz, Father Stepanos, and Master Minas. Under the altar of the church is the grave of Khachatur Kesaratsi, founder of the first printing house in Iran.
St. Gregory Monastery of Bardzrakash was founded in the 10th century and is located in the Lori region of Armenia, 2 km from the village of Dsegh, on the slope of a gorge, in a forest. The tribal cemetery of the Mamikonian house is situated in the territory of the monastery. The monastery's Church of the Holy Mother of God was built in 1221 by Marzpan the son of Prince Sargis Mamikonian.
St. John Monastery of Ardvi, which is also known as Srbanes Monastery or John of Odzun Monastery, was founded in the 8th century. It is located not far from the village of Ardvi in the Lori region of Armenia. In the northern church of the monastery is the tombstone of Catholicos John III of Odzun.
Vorotnavank Monastery is located in Syunik region of Armenia, 14 km north of the town of Sisian. It was founded in the year c. 1000 by Syunik Queen Shahandukht. According to historian Stepanos Orbelian, the oldest church of the monastery, the Church of St. Gregory, was founded by Gregory the Illuminator and later rebuilt by hermit Stepanos.
The monastery is located to the north-east of the village of Buzhakan in Kotayk marz of Armenia (historical region of Nig), on the slope of Mount Teghenis. Both the mountain and the monastery derive their name from elms ("teghi" in Armenian) that grow in that place. The oldest building of the monastic complex was the Church of the Holy Mother of God that was built in the 6th-7th centuries.
The Monastery of Makenis is located in the village of Makenis in the marz of Gegharkunik, Republic of Armenia. The monastery's main church, St. Mother of God, was founded in 851 by Prince Grigor Supan, son of Princess Mariam. The monastery was one of the major cultural and educational centers in medieval Armenia.
Moro Dzoro (or Tsrviz) Monastery is located on the right slope of the southwestern ravine of Lusahovit village of Tavush Marz in Armenia. It was built in the 5th-7th centuries. The monastery of Nor Varagavank is also in the same region, near the village of Varagavan, and was founded by king David II Kyurikian in the 12th century.
The Yereruyk Temple or St. Karapet (Forerunner) Church of Yereruyk was built in the 4th-5th centuries and has some features peculiar to antiquity. It is located near the village of Anipemza in the marz of Shirak. On the southern wall of the temple, the Greek inscription reads the following words of Psalm 93: "Holiness befits your house, O Lord, for endless days."
It is believed that the Church of the Holy Cross was built in the 4th century by the Gntuni princes. It is located in the town of Aparan, Aragatsotn Marz of Armenia. The church was renovated in 1877. It received its name from the particle of the Holy Cross that was once kept inside the church.
The Church of the Holy Apostles in the city of Kars was founded in 940s, during the reign of Armenian king Abas Bagratuni. The church building is intact to this day but is converted into a mosque. Bazenits Monastery was situated in the Vaspurakan province of Greater Armenia and was built or reconstructed in the 15th century. Some manuscripts created in this monastery have reached our days.
St. Karapet (John the Forerunner) Monastery of Aprakunis was located in the Syunik province of Greater Armenia, on the right bank of the River Yernjak, near the village of Aprakunis, presently - in the Julfa region of Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic. The monastery was founded by Patriarch Malakia of Crimea (Maghakia Ghrimetsi Vardapet) in 1381.
Kobayravank or the Kobayr Monastery is located in the Lori marz of the Republic of Armenia, to the west of the Kober railway station, on the slope of the gorge of the River Debed. Kobayravank was a renowned spiritual and cultural center of northern Armenia.
The Mother Cathedral of Holy Etchmiadzin is the central church of the Catholicosate of All Armenians. According to the historian Agathangelos, it was founded by St. Gregory the Illuminator, with the support of King Tiridates III, in 302-303, in the Armenian capital town of Vagharshapat, in the vicinity of the royal palace.
The Kirants Monastery is located in the Tavush marz of the Republic of Armenia, around 12 km west of Kirants village, on the left bank of Kumen, the tributary of the River Voskepar, on a picturesque plain covered with forests. The monastery complex was founded in the 13th century.
This monastery is located in the Aghahejk region of the province of Syunik in Greater Armenia, in the present Kashatagh region of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. The Monastery of Tsisternavank is placed among the renowned 13th-century monasteries of Syunik.
This monastery is located in the Vayots Dzor region of the Republic of Armenia, in the vicinity of the village of Gndevaz. According to the records, the monastery was founded in the 10th century by Princess Sopia of Syunik.
The Holy Trinity Monastery of Tekor or the Tekor Cathedral was located 20 km south-west of Ani, on the right bank of the River Tekor. According to a construction inscription, the Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tekor was built in the last quarter of the 5th century by Prince Sahak Kamsarakan.
The Khor Virap Monastery is located in the Ayrarat province of Greater Armenia, on the left bank of the River Araks, on the slopes of one of the hills of the historic town of Artashat, now to the south-west of Loosarat village, the Republic of Armenia. This monastery is a sacred shrine of the Armenians, a recognized pilgrimage site. The history of Khor Virap is closely linked to the conversion of Armenians, and the religious, educational and cultural development of Armenia.
The monastery is also known as the Monastery of Endzakar. It was located in the Vaspurakan province of Greater Armenia, on the slope of mountain Kaputkogh. The monastery was dedicated to St. James of Nisibis. According to tradition, it was founded in the 4th century.
The broadcast explains the notion of “monastery” in its broader sense. It also acquaints with the history of monasticism, monks, monastic complexes, etc.