Hovhannavank Monastery

Category: Aragatsotn

Hovhannavank is a wonderful piece of Armenian Apostolic Church architecture situated in the village of Ohanavan in the region of Aragatsotn, about five kilometers away from the monastic complex of Saghmosavank. The monastery is attached atop the Kasakh River gorge. The oldest part of the monastery was built in the 4th century by the first Armenian Catholicos Gregory the Illuminator, the preacher of Christianity in Armenia. And the building of a cruciform domed church has been preserved since 1216. The complex is surrounded by a high protective wall dating back to the 13-14th centuries.

The monastery of Hovhannavank is distinguished among others by the compact arrangement of the architectural complexes around the main building. Another perfect solution of the architectural complex is that the southern and western facades are densely decorated while the northern ones look quite modest. It is not by chance because the better decorated wall is well-lit by the sun, thus making the complex more luxurious.

Short inscriptions decorate the walls of the Hovhannavank monastery. It belongs to the type of ecclesiastical edifices like Gandzasar in Nagorno Karabakh with an umbrella-shaped dome, cruciform floor plan, narthex and a high relief of a cross on one of the walls. Such constructions were built during the same time in very different parts of the country.