Do you want to see and enjoy the perfect harmony of nature and excellent architecture? Today we are going to introduce you the “magnificent pearl” embraced within the beautiful green of untouched nature, Haghartsin monastery.
As soon as you take a look at monastery’s picture, you will understand why it is well worth visiting it. This magical piece of architecture will definitely blow your mind with its splendid appearance and atmosphere.
In short, it is a monastery that should be seen and admired at least once in life. And that nature! Nature around has a breathtaking view!
Historical Value and Architecture of Haghartsin Monastery
Haghartsin Monastery is located in Tavush Province of Armenia, 18 km from Dilijan. It belongs to those architectural landmarks that were built in 11th–13th centuries.
The monastery stands in a picturesque gorge in upper course of the river that has the same name as the complex, Haghartsin River.
As Haghartsin Monastery is located in the most beautiful view surrounded with the wooded maintains, thus there are many eagles soaring around the territory.
It is believed, that the monastery’s name means “games of eagles”. This means that the name of Haghartsin monastery is translated in Armenian as “hagh” meaning game and “artsiv” meaning an eagle.
It is known, traditionally, that an eagle was soaring above the monastery’s dome as soon as it was founded and it looked as if it was playing around.
Therefore, this is kind of a beautiful story, or a legend that helps to find the etymology of the name of Haghartsin Monastery.
This medieval monastery consists of three main churches, a 13th century chapel, vestibules, burial vaults of two kings, a scriptorium, belfry and a refectory.
The three main churches are: Saint Atsvatsatsin (Holy Mother) Church, Saint Grigor church and Saint Stepanos Church.
Do you feel intrigued to learn more about these majestic medival buildings? Well, here we go.
Haghartsin Monastery: Saint Astvatsatsin Church (Holy Mother of God)
St. Astvatsatsin is the main and the largest church dominating the whole complex. It was built in the 11th century and reconstructed in 1287. This cross-domed construction has most magnificent and richest decorations that make the place even more impressive and attractive.
The sixteen-faced dome decorated with arches makes the church taller and more harmonious. The image of the eagle can be seen on the eastern facade of the St. Astvatsatsin church that shows two men in monk clothing and an eagle sitting on the dome of the church.
Haghartsin Monastery: Saint Gregory Church
Want to find out which one is the most ancient construction in Haghartsin Monastery?
It is the St. Gregory Church built in the 10th -11th centuries by monks. From outside the church is rectangular, while from inside it is cruciform.
St. Gregory church is crowned with cone-shaped dome upon octahedral drum.
Haghartsin Monastery: Saint Stepanos Church
Basically, St. Stepanos church is the small-size variant or a tiny copy of the main church.
The construction of this church dates back to the 1244. This small domed church is built from sky blue basalt.
How to Get to Haghartsin Monastery
As we already know, Haghartsin monastery is located in the wooded mountains near Dilijan. It is easy to go there from Dilijan as it will take only 20 minutes to get to the monastery.
The location is also very comfortable for hiking so if you feel like doing it, then just go for it. In general, Dilijan resort town is famous for its wonderful and astonishing surroundings.
It is not surprising that the territory of Dilijan resort town is called the “Armenian Switzerland” or the “Little Switzerland” of Armenia.
It’s quite exciting and thrilling, isn’t it? The majority of tourists and visitors of Armenia spent some days in Dilijan as well.
We highly recommend you to visit Dilijan resort town while travelling to Armenia, as it’s well worth it to explore and enjoy all the wonders of this city.
So, let’s find out how to get to Dilijan from the capital of Armenia, Yerevan. Well, there are several options and the first one is the marshrutka service. You can take a minibus from the Medical University. It is headed to Ijevan that will, definitely, stop in Dilijan on the way.
Hotels Near Haghartsin Monastery
If you are looking for where to stay during your visit to Dilijan resort town, here you can find several good options of hotels that are not far away from Haghartsin Monastery.
Diligence Hotel is located near the Agstev River of Dilijan. First of all, it is just 3.4 miles from Haghartsin Monastery. The hotel has all kind of services and facilities that you may need during your visit.
There is free Wi-Fi in all areas, also free parking. The rooms are provided by a TV, fridge and private bathroom with toiletries. Diligence Hotel also offers table tennis, a terrace with barbecue, karaoke and a children’s play area.
If you want to enjoy the tasty dishes of the Armenian cuisine, the hotel offers its restaurant service.
The hotel guarantees best prices. The average prices of the rooms are 16.000-18.000AMD ($32-$36). But they also offer standard triple rooms that cost 27.000 AMD ($55), twin rooms with the price of 20.000 AMD ($40) and quadruple rooms – 36.000 AMD ($73).
The next option is Best Western Paradise Hotel Dilijan which is a luxury hotel located in a picturesque area of Dilijan resort town. The hotel provides free Wi-Fi and free private parking. Here the high-quality service and accommodations meet the international standards.
The friendly stuff will do their best for your relaxation, comfort and safety. All 60 rooms come with a TV, a fridge and a balcony.
Hotel’s restaurant offers not only Armenian but also European dishes. It also has an indoor swimming pool, a children’s playground, a gym and sauna, spacious Lobby, Conference Hall, Winter Garden, stylish Cafe, Bar and Wellness Centre.
The average prices of the rooms are 25.000-35.000AMD ($51-$71). One more important thing to note, the hotel is only 4.4 miles from Haghartsin Monastery.
Refectory of Haghartsin Monastery
Are you interested to know what the most popular building in Haghartsin Monastery is? Well, it’s the refectory, which is of special interest for the visitors. This rare architectural composition was designed and built by the talented architect Minas in 1248.
The refectory is considered to be one of the most overwhelming and stunning architectural masterpieces of the Medieval Armenia. Its large hall’s ceiling is held by crossing arches that are built very skillfully. The building of refectory is divided on two square parts covered with original criss-crossed arches.
The most surprising part is that the refectory’s roof lies on columns, which means that mathematics was at a high level in medieval Armenia.
Also, near the door there is a wide archway for the numerous pilgrims. What makes the place even more attractive and impressive is the unique proportionally diminishing architectural design. It is made so skillfully that you won’t feel any kind of heaviness of the ceiling.
On the contrary, the shapes of the building will create the feelings of airiness and space.
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