Bovurkhanavank monastery complex


The monastery complex is situated between settlements Nngi, Harav, Karasni, Karashen and Karmir Gyugh 1700m above sea-level, on the northern slope of mountain Bovurkhan (Martuni district of Artsakh). Thanks to that the complex is situated near the picturesque ravine, a harmonic accord was created between the architectural creation and surrounding nature.

The fort-monastery was founded by Bagr - Varanda’s prince, one of the famous princes of Shakhnazaryan princely family. He ruled in the first half of XVIIc till 1646. The mountain together with the fort-monastery after the prince was named Bagrkhan. The name later on was distorted and turned into Burukhan, Bovrkhan and Bovurkhan.

The complex consists of a church, several dwelling, economical and industrial constructions, surrounded with serf-walls with towers. Comparatively well has preserved the church in eastern part. To the church from north joins a vestibule, the door-passage of which is inside the church.

All the materials point on that the church was built in XVIIc. Among the monastic monuments a special interest presents the western part of the serf-walls, where is situated the round tower. The built in the tower room of oval form (diameter 2,4m) has preserved its original look. On the same distance are placed 5 windows, widening towards inside. From here is viewed the beautiful panorama of the ravine. Preserved in here wide stairs, taking up, evidence about that all the rooms had a second floor with wooden balconies. In the monastic complex great significance had the serf-wall, occupying a territory of 40x 18,5m. The fort-monastery had an underground passage and water-pipe.

At the foot of mountain Bovrkhan is placed the monastic spring, four observation posts, belonging to defense-system, chapel sacred place Leri Khach (mountain cross) and Anahit. Chapel Anahit is situated on top of the south-western spur of mountain Bovrkhan, above village Karmir.

From the very beginning the monastery was a cult center, at the same time the summer-residence of Varanda’s princedom. Alongside with this, in the first half of XVIIIc in the monastery-fort temporarily stationed one of the military units - Karkarian garrison.

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