Hairavank Monastery

Hairavank was founded in the area of a settlement (2nd-1st millennium BCE– 18th c.) lying along the shore of Lake Sevan.

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Hairavank Monastery

Hairavank Monastery

This monastery is also referred to as Airivank, Hayr Hovhannu Vank (Father Hovhan’s monastery), Mardaghavnyats monastery.

The name “Mardaghavnyats” (meaning dove-men) is linked to a legend according to which Abbot Hovhan used the remnant of the True Cross during the 1381 Timur Lenk’s invasion to convert thousands of Armenian captives into doves and later set them free.

According to another legend, an underground road connected the monastery (also referred to as Airivank) with the Spitak (Berdkunk) fortress located 1 km to the north.

Hairavank was founded in the area of a settlement (2nd-1st millennium BCE– 18th c.) lying along the shore of Lake Sevan.

The complex includes St. Stepanos church (9th c.), gavit (1211), numerous khachkars (stone crosses) and gravestones. Outside the enclosed area are the ruins of dwelling and service buildings.

St. Stepanos church is unique among Armenian architectural structures. It boasts a central-dome quatrefoil design with circular apses both inside and outside. Adjoining the church on the west is the gavit which has two columns and is topped with an eight-faceted “yerdik” dome shaped into stalactites.

The monastery operated until the 19th c. The settlement and a number of dwelling structures were excavated during the archeological research conducted in 1952, 1972, 1973. The oldest find is a remnant of a polished black pot dated to the early Bronze Age. 

The monastery was renovated and the church dome was reconstructed in 1980s. 


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    How to reach From Shengavit district of Yerevan drive 240km to north east. The trip will take approximately 3 hours 15 minutes.

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