Matenadaran, the Mesrop Mashtots Research Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, is home to one of the world's most extensive collections of ancient Armenian manuscripts. Founded in 1959 and named after Mesrop Mashtots, the creator of the Armenian alphabet in the early 5th century, this unique institution houses over 17,000 manuscripts, including 14,500 in Armenian and 2,500 in foreign languages such as Arabic, Assyrian, Persian, Indian, Russian, Georgian, Latin, and Ethiopian.

The impressive basalt building, designed by architect Mark Grigoryan, is reminiscent of Armenian medieval architecture. A new building, designed by architect and musician Arthur Meschian, was added in 2011 to accommodate the growing collection. Matenadaran's entrance is guarded by statues of Mesrop Mashtots and 5th-century historian Koryun, while the building's front arches feature monuments to significant Armenian cultural figures, such as Movses Khorenatsi, Mkhitar Gosh, Frik, Toros Roslin, Grigor Tatevatsi, and Anania Shirakatsi.

Inside the Matenadaran, visitors can admire the lobby's mosaic depicting the Avarayr Battle and the Armenian History triptych fresco surrounding the staircase, created by artist Van Khachatur. The institution also conducts research on Armenian writing, textology, source study, paleography, medieval book painting, and historiography.

The Matenadaran's extensive collection includes manuscripts dating back to the 5th-6th centuries, such as the Gospel of Etchmiadzin with its oldest illustrations and miniatures. The oldest complete manuscript is the Lazarus Gospel from 887, while the largest is the Charentir of Mush (1200-1202) and the smallest is the Calendar (1434).

Established in 1921 as the first research center in Armenia, the Matenadaran in Yerevan boasts a vast array of Armenian and foreign manuscripts, showcasing the nation's rich history and cultural heritage from its inception to the 19th century.

Nearest to Matenadaran

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