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Haghartsin

 

Founded in the 10-13th century, Haghartsin monastery is situated in the woodlands of Tavush region, near the densely forested region of Dilijan. New buildings were added to the monastery during later times. The complex consists of St. Grigor, St. Astvatsatsin (The Mother of God), St. Stepanos churches and other buildings. A huge oak tree, almost the age of the monastery, complements the whole scenery. Lush forests and mountains add to the beauty of the whole complex.
Each part of the monastic complex is of significant beauty and value therefore Haghartsin together with Goshavank is subject to become a World Heritage Site. 
The influential artistic feature of the complex of Haghartsin is St. Astvatsatsin church. It is also the largest building of the whole complex. Harmonious arches decorate the dome of the church. Triangular ledges and spheres connect the bases of the columns, giving a majestic look to the building.
The oldest one among the large structures in the whole complex is St. Grigor church, where you can get through its gavit (vestry) with ornamented corner sections of rosettes with carvings of human figures in monk attires. In the ornaments the monks carry crosses, staffs and birds. The gavit window has a framing in the figure of a cross. The cross is situated right above the portal of the main entrance emphasizing the central part of the façade.
Of special importance is the refectory of Haghartsin built by the architect Minas. High pillars divide the refectory into two square-plan parts with common roof intersecting the arches.
At the walls you can see stone benches and the western wall has a broad archway meant for pilgrims to navigate.
The Monastery may be described as a school of architecture. It took about 300 years to build with every generation of architects adding on new structures, outer and inner dressing of artistic expressive means.
Today in the monastery of Haghartsin you can see large log wooden tables and chairs, which serve pilgrims during religious ceremonies.