Tsitsernavank, Armenian Apostolic monastery

Tsitsernavank Monastery – Ծիծեռնավանք – is located in the village of the same name in the Kashatag region of Artsakh. The monastery is located on the northwestern outskirts of the village on the right bank of the Agoglan River, 5 km from the Syunik marz.

Dated to the 4th-6th centuries. According to one legend, the monastery was built on the site of a pagan temple. This is evidenced by the name of Tsitsernavank.

At the root of the name is the word “tsitsernak”, which in Armenian means a swallow. It is known that the cult of the swallow in pre-Christian Armenia was one of the most widespread.

But there is another legend regarding the monastery of Tsitsernavakn. On the grabar, “tsizarn” means “little finger”. According to this legend, the little finger of St. Apostle Peter, hence the name – “Tsitsarnavank” (or “Tsitsernavank”) – “Monastery of the little finger”.

The monastery of Tsitsernavank was located in the ancient Armenian Gavar Akhaechk in the province of Syunik. The only surviving church of St. George the Victorious, made of pure hewn stone, was opened after restoration in 1999-2000.

The territory of the monastery was once surrounded by a wall, from which some parts of the gate remained in the western part. Several vaulted rooms adjoin from the south, and an ancient Armenian cemetery is located in the north of the monastery.

By Alexander Bakulin. Edited and translated by Art-A-Tsolum

Photos from Alexander Bakuli and Wikipedia.org, which says that the monastery is located on the territory of Azerbaijan.

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