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.



The two-story St. Astvatsatsin was built for Prince Burtel Orbelian as the Orbelian dynasty sepulcher.

The building is considered an architectural master­piece among surviving Armenian sepulcher-churches, one of the later works by the famous artist and sculptor Momik.

The church follows the same layout as that of St. Astvatsatsin in Areni village. The lower tympanum bas-relief sculpture depicts the Holy Mother of God and the archangels; the upper bas-relief portrays Christ and the apostles Sts. Petros and Poghos (Peter and Paul).

The enclosed bottom floor was reserved for family tombs. Leaning against the western wall are two large khachkars; the one on the left is attributed to Momik (early 14th c.).

Narrow cantilever stairs above the western entry lead to the second floor, with a semicircular apse on the east end of the hall. An effigy of Christ flanked by two angels and a symbol of the Holy Spirit is carved just above the east window. The structure is crowned with a dome supported by a rotunda of 12 columns  decorated with carvings of birds and an image of Prince Burtel holding the church model in his hand.

The heraldic emblem of the Orbelian dynasty is carved on the eastern facade of the church.

The tympanum bas relief sculptures were both carved by Momik during church construction. The lower relief depicts an enthroned Holy Virgin with the Christ child in her lap, and the upper relief portrays Christ flanked by the apostles Petros and Poghos (Peter and Paul).

Above the doorway arch, an inscription reads «ԹՎ ՉՁԸ», (“in the year 1339) which was  the date of the church's construction and consecration. The date is figured from the Old Style Armenian Calendar.  

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    Working period/season Year around


    Working days Monday - Sunday


    Working hours 9 AM - 6 PM


    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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