Noravank

 

The monastery complex of Noravank is located at the ledge of the most picturesque gorge of the river Arpa inflow. As if the nature itself prompted the place for building of this temple, while incredible energetics, collected in this area, confirmed this choice. Strikingly beautiful and powerful bright red rocks as if embrace it to protect and at the same time show all the grandeur of their pearl. The monastery founded in the territory of an ancient adobe and built during the time of ruling of Syunik Orbelian princes, later turned into a major religious, then cultural center of Armenia. It had close ties established with Gladzor – the nearby renowned university and the scriptorium. It is hard to overestimate the work done by Noravank  to study, develop and preserve the historical heritage. Even today it helps to reveal mysteries and discover the lost truth.

 

Karapet Church of IX-X centuries, extant in ruins, is the most ancient building of Noravank. Later in 1221-1227, the main church was built, which was also dedicated to St. Karapet. In 1261 the porch was built. St. Gregory's Church, or the tomb of the Orbelian princes, was added to the northern wall of the main temple in 1275. The Astvatsatsin Church was the last one built in 1339.

 

Temples of Armenia, at first glance look alike, but each of them, as well as khachkars (cross-stones), have their unique face, architecture, history, legends. Ascetic decoration helps to not disrupt and not forget why you are here; this fact alone makes them grandiose.

 

In the territory of this monastery you can see delicate khachkars; the pattern, despite the huge number of khachkars, never repeats.