Tegher Monastery – Aragatsotn, Armenia

Tegher Monastery – Aragatsotn, ArmeniaTegher Monastery is located in on the southeastern slope of Mount Aragats at an altitude of 1650 – 1700 meters, in the village of the same name.

The monastery consists of the 1213 Surb Astvatsatsin Church, as well as a vestibule that was adjoined to the monastery in 1221.

The inscription left by the builders of the monastery on the tympanum of the western entrance of the vestibule tells that the monastery was built from grey basalt at the request and on the funds of Prince Vache Vachutyan’s wife, princess Mamakhatun Vachutyan, a prominent patron of arts. The construction works of the complex were completed in 1232.

Princess Vachutyan’s name was first mentioned in an inscription carved out on the vestibule of the Teghenyats Monastery (Kotayk Province) in 1211. The princess participated in the construction of at least two other churches, as well as the library of the Oromos Monastery. Apart from that, she actively assisted various monasteries, including Haghpat and Sanahin.

The church of the monastery belongs to the cross-in-square architectural type. It is remarkable for its rigorous shape and the absence of nearly any kind of decorative ornamentation.

The vestibule that exceeds the church itself in size belongs to an architectural type notable for its four-pillar, centric layout. The vestibule also features a low, round, 12-edge dome.

The fencing of this monastic complex was built by archimandrite Sargis Byurakantsi in 1467. In the 1950s, the domes of the church and the chapels were renovated, and the roof was covered with tuff tiles. In 1975 – 76, the upper rows of the church’s and vestibule’s walls were repaired. Apart from that, their cornices were reinforced.

In the vicinity of the monastery stands a medieval clinic called “dghratun”. Back in the days, the village of Tegher has been renowned for its healing herbs. According to archaeological excavations, the first human settlement was established here back in Bronze Age.

by Alexander Bakulin

Tegher Monastery (1/2)

Tegher Monastery (2/2)

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