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.
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.