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.


Noravank - Gavit

The gavit lies to the west of the main church of St. Stepanos Nakhav´ka. It was built as a sepulcher for the Orbelian dynasty and monastery monks.  In 1261 Prince Smbat Orbelian commissioned the architect Siranes to rebuild the structure.

Following an earthquake in 1321, the gavit was rebuilt yet again, possibly by the master Momik. The interior walls are lined with exquisite khachkars (stone crosses) and carvings.

Lower Sculpture

The lower sculpture portrays a seated Madonna and Child and is set against a richly carved backdrop of letters interwoven with floral designs, leaves, vines and flowers. In the center there are two saints gazing upon the Madonna, and their pose is typical of Armenian medieval figural carvings.

Upper Sculpture (“God and Adam”)

The upper window sculpture is a unique combination of God the Father, Adam, Christ and other biblical figures. The creator of this magnificent sculpture (assumed to be Momik) depicted God the Father in human form as a bearded man flanked by the Blessed Virgin with John the Evangelist above the prone figure of the prophet Daniel.

God the Father cradles the head of Adam in his left hand as Adam receives a breath of life from the Holy Spirit (represented by a dove).

This carving shows Momik at the height of his artistic powers, however, the deep engraving is said to have been the result of Momik's deteriorating eyesight. These relief sculptures fill their tympanums with figures and inscriptions.

St. Stepanos Nakhav´ka church

The main church of St. Stepanos Nakhav´ka was built for Prince Liparit Orbelian between 1216 and 1221. The cruciform church originally had a central dome (which was destroyed by an earthquake in 1840) as well as two-story annexes in the corners. 

The western facade holds the only entrance leading to the adjoining gavit-sepulcher. The interior is marked by carvings of cross designs on the altar apron.

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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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