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.
Noravank is a monastic complex built in the 13th century and located in the gorge of the Amaghu river, near the city of Yeghegnadzor, Armenia. The monastery is best known for its two-storey Church of Holy Mother of God (Astvatsatsin). In the 13th–14th centuries, the monastery became the residence of Syunik's bishops and, consequently, a major religious and later cultural center of Armenia.