Goshavank (Nor Getik) monastery ensemble

1188 y.

Nor Getik (New Getik) was erected in place of an older monastery, Getik, which had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1188. Mkhitar Gosh, a statesman, outstanding scientist and writer, an author of numerous fables and parables and of the first criminal code, took part in building the monastery, which was also known as Goshavank in his honour. In Nor Getik Mkhitar Gosh founded a school. One of its alumni, Kirakos Gandzaketsi, an Armenian scientist, wrote "The History of Armenia". The architect Mkhitar the Carpenter and his disciple Hovhannes also took an active part in building the monastery.

The church of St.Grigor Lusavorich in Nor Getik, started in 1237 and finished by Prince Grigor-Tgha in 1241, while being true to the type of Armenia's fifth-century basilicas, is distinguished by the beauty of its decoration. The bottom of the altar apse is trimmed by a graceful arcature. The exterior decoration of the church is also rich. Nor Getik's vestibule has small side-chapels in the corners of the eastern side of the building.

The book depository with a bell-tower is a structure of a most unusual composition. Originally, before 1241, there had been in its place a small building with niches for keeping books in and with a wooden «glkhatun» type ceiling. Adjacent to it on the western side was a vast premise which probably served as a refectory and an auditorium.

Then, a two-floor bell-tower was built over the book depository. The construction was carried out in two stages. In the second stage, accomplished in 1291 by the patrons Dasapet and Karapet, the top - a small church with two altar apses, crowned with a multi-column rotund belfry - was completed. The entrance to the church was from the roof of the auditorium by a cantilever stone stair. The bell-tower was taller than Grigory church, and therefore dominated Nor Getik ensemble.

Among the memorial khachkars of Nor Getik there are unique and highly artistic ones. The khachkars created by the carver Pavgos stand out among the rest. The best of them is a 1291 khachkar with the maker's name carved in the bottom left star. This is a unique and highly artistic work.

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