Tsaghats Kar Monastery

The 13th century historian Stepanos Orbelian referred to the monastery as “Glorious sacred haven” and “Sanctuary of angels”.


Tsaghats Kar Monastery

This monastery complex is located 6 km north-east of Artabuynk village. It consists of two groups of structures: western and eastern. There are different records about the construction of the monastery.

The 13th century historian Stepanos Orbelian referred to the monastery as “Glorious sacred haven” and “Sanctuary of angels”. 

The main building of the western group is Surb Astvatsatsin (Holy Virgin) church, constructed in the 10th century in place of an older structure, during the reign of Abas Bagratuni. It is a domed building with square ground plan.

From the southern side adjoining the church, there is a columned hall and from the western side a gavit. The walls of the gavit have niche buttressing with carved arches. St. Hovhannes single nave domed church has an inscription dated 989 on the eastern wall.

The western group also includes the chapel on the southern side of the church, monk cells, an oil press, tombstones and khachkars. 

The dominant structure in the eastern group of monuments is St. Karapet church, commissioned in 1041 by Abbot Vardik. Square on the outside, it is a domed cruciform on the inside with four annexes in its corners. It is highly decorated with carvings representing floral designs, geometric and heraldic patterns.

St. Hovhannes (also known as St. Nshan), built at the same time as nearby St. Karapet, is also attributed to Vardik. The second floor has a chapel on the gavit-sepulcher with khachkars on both sides.

The complex housed a calligraphy center in the 15th century where hundreds of manuscripts were copied.

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    How to reach Monastery is reached by taking a R turn across the river about 1km. N of the village, then follow tо another 1km. or so to a L fork that leads sharply up-heal onto a large sloping meadow, at the top of which is a beautiful complex.

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