Noravank Complex

This complex sits on the southern slope of Gnishik River canyon, 3 kilometers to the east of Amaghu village. It was founded in 1105 by Bishop Hovhannes, the abbot of Hovhana monastery, in place of the earlier existing St. Karapet church and St. Pokas chapel.

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Noravank Complex at Amaghu

This complex sits on the southern slope of Gnishik River canyon, 3 kilometers to the east of Amaghu village. It was founded in 1105 by Bishop Hovhannes, the abbot of Hovhana monastery, in place of the earlier existing St. Karapet church and St. Pokas chapel.

In the early 13th century, the Orbelian dynasty transformed Noravank into a religious and cultural center, commissioning a patrimonial sepulcher at the monastery with prominent historical figures buried inside.  Mongols looted the monastery in 1238.

It was also the seat of religious leader of Syunik, Bishop Stepanos Orbelian (1286-1303), an influential cultural and educational center where numerous manuscripts were copied and illustrated.

The oldest building of the complex is St. Karapet (9th -10th cc.), which was uncovered in the south of the main group of monuments during 1982-1983 trial excavations. To the north lies St. Stepanos Nakhavka (St. Stephen Protomartyr) church, built in 1216-1221 at the initiative of Prince Liparit Orbelian and Bishop Sargis I.

The gavit was built immediately after the main church. The construction was possibly completed in the mid 1230s. The western façade bears two outstanding bas-relief sculptures with biblical themes.

 In 1275 Tarsayitch Orbelian commissioned St. Gregory the Illuminator Church-Sepulcher (architect Siranes), located to the north of the main church. St. Astvatsatsin Church was dedicated in 1339 by the grandson of Tarsayitch, Prince Burtel, his wife Vakhakh and their sons.

“Burtelashen” is the dominant structure in the complex. It is a two-storey building, remarkable for its  exquisite façade. Outstanding are the tympanum carvings and the cantilever stairs above the western entry leading to the second floor.


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    Working period/season Year around

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    Working days Monday - Sunday

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    Working hours 9 AM - 6 PM

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    How to reach Noravank monastery is located 122 km from Yerevan. Take M2 highway from Yerevan and as soon as you get to Areni village turn to the right.

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    Interpretive Signs .

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    Seating Areas .

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    Trash Disposal .

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