Sevanavank Monastery

Sevanavank Monastery, situated on a rocky peninsula on Lake Sevan in Armenia, is a stunning example of medieval Armenian architecture. Originally, the peninsula was an island, separated from the shore by clear, fish-abundant waters. Monks arrived at the end of the 8th century, constructing a modest chapel and cells. Owing to its convenient location, the monastery expanded over time, with the addition of walls, watchtowers, churches, and other structures.

Today, only two temples remain from the 9th-century monastery – Surb Arakelots and Surb Astvatsatsin – standing among numerous khachkars. Built with black tuff, these cross-shaped churches exhibit intricate masonry and are known for their distinct drums, eaves, and arches. Inside the main church, a unique khachkar featuring Jesus Christ with Mongol features showcases the artistic styles of the 12th and 13th centuries.

Throughout its history, Sevanavank Monastery has withstood invasions from Arab armies, Tamerlane's forces, and others. After the last monk left in 1930, the monastery ceased to exist. Now, the black temples of Sevan stand sentinel over the ancient lake, offering breathtaking views of surrounding mountains and waters.

Sevanavank Monastery's history is steeped in legends, including one involving Mashtots Eghvardetsi and Princess Mariam. In 874, Mariam founded the monastery after being inspired by Mashtots' vision of the 12 apostles instructing him to build a church in their name. Today, Sevanavank is a popular tourist destination and an important historical and cultural site in Armenia.

Nearest to Sevanavank Monastery

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