Dadivank monastery is one of the marvelous architectural pieces due to its diversity of not only ecclesiastical and secular structures but also unique and special internal and external structural improvements.
The Monastery of St. Dadi, otherwise known as Dadi or Khuta Temple, stands proudly in the arms of Nagorno Karabakh mountains and is ready to welcome all its visitors and guests.
By the way, there is an interesting myth connected with the naming of the monastery. As it is said, Dadivank was also named Khutavanq as it was constructed on a small hill and in Armenian translation “khut” stands for a small hill.
The monastery is full of beautiful and majestic things hidden in its walls. So, if you want to learn other interesting things about this monastery, just keep on scrolling.
Dadivank is the Most Visited Tourist Destination in Nagorno Karabakh
There are some historical sites that apart from being very interesting and impressing have a special impact that are both capturing and intimidating by their significance and majesty. Dadivank is just like that.
Dadivank (in Armenian – Դադիվանք) also known as Khutavank is one of the most brilliant representatives of true masterpieces of Armenian medieval architecture. This Armenian monastery is located in the Shahumian Region, particularly in the northwestern part of Martakert district of Nagorno Karabakh, in the area of the historical province of Upper Khachen.
Dadivank dates back to 9th to 13th century. The legend has it that the monastery was founded by the disciple of Thaddeus the Apostle, St. Dadi who preached Christianity in Eastern Armenia.
Interestingly in 2007, St., Dadi’s grave was discovered under the holy altar of the main church of this monastic complex. By the way, the princes of Upper Khachen are also buried at Dadivank, under the church’s Gavit.
In medieval historical chronicles, Dadivank was first mentioned in the 9th century. Most of the buildings of this monastic complex have survived but until 2004 they were in a real emergency condition. The monastery was reopened in 1994, at the end of the Nagorno-Karabakh war.
Furthermore, the renovation process began in 2004 being sponsored by Armenian-American businesswoman Edele Hovnanian. The restoration of Dadivank is of great importance from the standpoint of the preservation of the sanctuary that is a powerful proof of the existence of Armenians in this land.
The reconstruction efforts restored the main church of the complex, along with a rare chapel which was restored by a benevolent Armenian contributor from Tehran, Edik Abrahamian.
How to get to Dadivank?
Currently, the only way you can arrive in Nagorno Karabakh is from Armenia. And most likely you will arrive in Stepanakert, the capital of Karabakh, by bus or car, on the road from Goris to Berdazor. At the so-called “border” between Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, the bus will stop and your passport will be registered.
The border police will hand you a slip of paper with the address of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of NKR to get a visa. When arriving here you will be asked to fill in some papers and then they will give you a visa for 3000 AMD (about $6). Overall, the whole process takes approximately 20 minutes or even less.
The best budget version to get to Nagorno Karabakh is marshrutkas (micro-buses) that go from the Kilikia bus station in Yerevan to Stepanakert every morning.
It will cost you less than 20 $, which you should pay in Armenian currency. Normally, these mini-buses depart at about 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 am, at 9:00 am and the journey can last up to 8 hours. Furthermore, there is a bus connection with other Armenian cities such as Vanadzor, Sisian, Goris as well.
The M-12 highway via Goris is the most common way to reach Stepanakert. A more adventurous way is to drive through the Karvajar pass via Vardenis. Both roads offer amazing views of wildlife, dense forests, dramatic cliffs and some ancient monuments on the way.
If you are going to reach there by taxi it will cost you 90-120$. However, there is another comfortable way to reach to Nagorno Karabakh as many tour companies or agencies provide guided tours to the country.
The best hotels/hostels nearby Dadivank: #1 Park Hotel Artsakh
Park Hotel Artsakh is a boutique hotel that is located in downtown of the capital of Nagorno Karabakh. This hotel is close to the public garden that is named after Artsakh war hero Ashot Gulian.
The hotel occupies a renovated building of the mid-19th century and differs greatly with its traditional style and unique design that combines modern comfort and historic interiors.
It also offers stunning scenery of the surrounding territory and has a restaurant, summer cafe, lobby bar, business center, library, souvenir shop and conference hall. The average prices of the rooms range from 25.000-42.000AMD.
The best hotels/hostels nearby Dadivank: #2 FD Sofia Hotel
The hotel is situated on the 5th floor of an entertainment and trade center in front of the city central market. It provides 6 single-rooms, 6 double-rooms, 1 double-room deluxe and 20 beds. There is free Wi-Fi internet, ATM, laundry service, 24-hour front desk and currency exchange.
FD Sofia Hotel is known to be an extremely clean and comfortable hotel. Their rooms are affordable, tidy and clean. There is central heating in the hotel. It is a newly built construction. Another advantage of this hotel is that there are some clothing stores, game rooms for children, a pharmacy and a cafe in the complex.
The price for the single room is 14,000 AMD, double room 22.000AMD and the triple room costs 37.000AMD. By the way, breakfast is included in the price.
The best hotels/hostels nearby Dadivank: #3 Hotel “Menua”
Perfectly located Menua hotel is situated in Tigran Mets Street, Stepanakert in the vicinity of Victory square. Furthermore, it is a small distance from the central bus station of Stepanakert.
Menua hotel offers quite cozy and comfortable rooms and is just a perfect place for a leisure trip. It has modern architecture and warm interior.
The building of this hotel was built in 2015. Free Wi-Fi, billiard room, cafe-bar, and 11 comfortable rooms are at your disposal. They have single, double, triple and family rooms. It’s a rather affordable hotel and the average prices for the rooms are 12.000-18.000AMD.
The Construction of Dadivank that is More than a Clever Arrangement of Bricks
In the Vth century, the monastery became the seat of the Bishop of Aghvan and later one of the most important and major cultural and educational centers of the district.
Dadivank complex consists of two bell towers (one of which is Memorial Bell-Tower), two ancient churches – the Memorial Cathedral (Katoghike), Church of the Holy Virgin, a chapel, guest house, bookhouse and several auxiliary buildings.
Also, there are some exceptional commemorative and highly-artistic cross-stones (khachkar) decorated with beautiful ornaments on the east wall.
One of the most important buildings of the 13th century is Grigor Bishop’s chapel. The inscription on this vestibule-chapel illustrates that it was built by Grigor Bishop in 1224.
Nonetheless, we can surely state that the real treasury of the monastic complex is St. Katoghike Astvatsatsin Church that goes back to 2014. The construction of this church belongs to princess Arzukhatun, the wife of the prince Vakhtang.
The cathedral is dedicated to the memory of her husband and 2 sons who died in the war for their Christian faith. St. Katoghike church has a cross-shaped plan with two-story depositors inside.
Its dome and facades are distinguished with their beautiful decorative arch ornaments. The southern wall of the church is decorated with the sculptures of a princess, Hasan, and Grigor with the pattern of the church in their hands.
Moreover, on the eastern facade of St. Katoghike Church, you can find the bust portrait sculptures of St. Dadi and king Vakhtang. The church houses some valuable frescos which are the unique and principle examples of the Armenian wall-painting art. Notably, the fresco of the southern wall depicts the scene when the Christ hands the gospel to David Miraculous that should cure people.
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