The Harichavank Monastery – Armenia

The Harichavank Monastery - ArmeniaHarichavank (Հառիճավանք) is a medieval monastic complex of the 13th century.

The oldest building of the complex dates back at the 7th century. The St. Gregory Church was built under the architectural influence of the Church of Mastara.

The ruins of a one-nave church of the 5th century are also preserved. The center of the architectural complex consists of two churches and a porch-gavit.

The main church of St. Astvatsatsin (Mother of God) was built by Ivane and Zakare Zakaryans in 1201.

The monastery has a cruciform domed hall with 4 two-story aisles. The dome drum is ornamented with carved columns.

The church is decorated with a twenty-corner drum with triple columns on the edges. This style was later improved in the Gandzasar temple.

The cross-shaped facades of the church are decorated with rich ornaments, serpentine reliefs with female heads with crowns, pigeons, etc. A stone model of the temple is placed on the western gable. The inscription on the cornice on the left side of the eastern facade says: “Lord, have mercy on those who have worked. Amen”.

Prince Vahram Hechup also built a porch before 1224, which includes the northern branch of the church of St. Gregory. The ruins of another vestibule are on the southern side of the St. Gregory Church.

Since 1850, the church of Harichavank has been the summer residence of the Etchmiadzin Catholicos.


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