Spitakavor monastery

Vayots Dzor
1321 y.

Spitakavor’s St.Astvatzatzin (Holy Virgin) monastery complex is located in the Vayots Dzor, 7kms north of the Vernashen village. The monastery consists of a church, a vestibule, a bell-tower and surrounded by fort-walls. The buildings are made of white shaved felzit. According to the inscriptions on the walls of the church, it was built by the ruler Eachi and completed by his son in 1321. The only entrance to the church is from the west, which has St.Mary’s sculpture on its headstone - a remarkable example of mid-century Armenian sculpture. Eachi and his son’s barelief composition are interesting.

There are also sculptures in the church, one of them - inside the vault, that of Jesus surrounded by his disciples.

The vestibule was built in 1321-1330. Attached to the vestibule’s western wall there is a three-storey unique bell-tower (built in 1330 by the spouses of Hovhannes and Tadzna). The remnants of the dwellings and cemetery are still preserved.

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In ancient times the Spitakavor, the Arkazi’s St.Khach and the Tanade monasteries were communicating by fire light signals.

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In spring time the monasteries were surrounded by countless flowers, and the Spitakavor monastery started to look like a flower itself, and that is why people referred to it as The Flower monastery.

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Under the monastery walls there is a grave of Armenian Great General Garegin Nzhdeh. Every year on June 17th, Armenians from all over the world visit the graveyard in pilgrimage.

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