Vahanavank monastery complex

X c.

5km towards southwest from town Kapan (Syunik district), one of the medieval Armenian monastery complexes is situated at the foot of Tigranasar mountain rising on the right bank of Voghji River. According to lithographic sources Syunik's ruler Dzagik's son Vahan built Vahanavank in the beginning of Xc. A spiritual school was opened by this huge convent with more than 100 preceptors. In 40's of Xc Vahanavank's abbot becomes its own pupil Vahan II Jevanshir, which later on becomes the spiritual leader of Syunik region, and then the Catholicos in 60's. During his power he built a great many constructions, which preserved only as ruins.

St.Grigory the Еnlightener church was built by Vahan Nakhashinogh in 911. The drum rises on huge steeple rocks. The church had two entries from west and south. The vestibule was built by Vahan Jevanshir in first half of Xc. This rectangle-square in scheme construction stands out with cornices decorated with vegetable and animal ornamental motives, which border the southern and northern walls.

Horse-shoe-shaped three strong arches leaning on beautiful unique bays, without any connecting material, carried the roof of the vestibule. The vestibule was destroyed because of the middle arch ruined during the earthquake. The entry was from south.

Syunyats queen Shahandukht II built two-storied mausoleum-church in 1086. This comparatively small temple leans on rocks from west, and from east it stands on the vaulted entry of the serf wall built of split stone. The eastern bay used to have a stage with window-passages on its right and left sides. The roof of the church was tiled (just like all the constructions of Vahanavank). From the top story of the temple a beautiful sight opens towards Vahanadzor (canyon) and the big temple.

Restoration works of the complex began in 1978.

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