Haghpat Monastery is located in the village of the same name in northern Armenia, 10 km from the town of Alaverdi. This monastery is a significant example of the medieval Armenian architectonics. It is distinguished by its compact and asymmetric layout and its beautiful silhouette on the hilly terrain. In 1996, Haghpat Monastery along with Sanahin Monastery was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Haghpat Monastery was built by King Ashot III the Merciful. Queen Khosrovanush played a crucial role in the establishment of the monastery. In the 10th-13th centuries, this large monastery has been one of the centers of the spiritual culture of Armenia.
In the 12th century, Haghpat Monastery became the religious center of the Kingdom of Lori (also known as the Kingdom of Tashir-Dzoraget). The royal tomb of the princely Kiurikian family was moved to Haghpat from Sanahin at some point. In 1081, priest Barsegh of Ani and Shirak was ordained the Armenian Catholicos in Haghpat Monastery, which testifies to its significance. After the invasion of Tashir-Dzoraget and whole Armenia by the Seljuk Turks, Haghpat Monastery was plundered by emir Kzyl. In 1118, the Kingdom of Tashir-Dzoraget fell.
The territory of Tashir-Dzoraget was liberated by King of Georgia David the Builder and then annexed to Georgia. Since the second half of the 12th century, Haghpat belonged to the Armenian princely dynasty Artsruni and then to Zakaryans. In the 15th-17th centuries, the influence of Zakaryans weakened, and the control over the monastery passed to lords who held both religious and princely power. During the 17th-18th centuries, the primates of Haghpat have been forced to temporarily move to Tiflis due to assaults of Lezgins. In the second half of the 18th century, renowned Armenian poet Sayat-Nova has resided in the monastery for several years.
In late Middle Ages, the appanages of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Georgia, Abkhazia, Kasakh, Borchalu, and Imereti were subject to the archbishop of Haghpat. Due to the escalation of the conflict between Russia and Persia, Catholicos of Armenia Yeprem I moved from Etchmiadzin to Haghpat in 1822 – 1826.
After the joining of Eastern Armenia and Russia, Haghpat became the spiritual center of Sokhmit and Kasakh. In the early 20th century, Haghpat lost some of its huge domain and was abandoned. In the years of Catholicos Vazgen I, Haghpat Monastery was reestablished, and today, it is a fully operating structure.
Armenia 2014 – Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin / Klasztory Haghpat i Sanahin