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The Monastery of St. Dadi, otherwise called Dadivank or Khutavank is one of the most remarkable medieval architectural complexes of Armenia, especially due to its variety of valuable ecclesiastical and secular structures and with the uniqueness of the internal and external structural improvements. Dadi or Khuta Temple is constructed in a beautiful valley in the place where Gharabagh and Mrav mountain chains get closer by a sloppy hill on the left bank of Tartar river. Etymology of "Dadi" and "Khuta" names are explained in two ways as it is described in the found lithograph; one connected with the Armenian custom, the other connected with the district. According to the tradition the monastery was built in the first century AD in the place where St. Dadi was buried. St. Dadi was one of 70 disciples of Apostle St. Thaddeus and died in Artsakh while preaching Christianity there. The church was also named Khutavanq as it was built on a small hill (in Armenian “khut” means small hill). It is notable that the relics of St.
Dadi Apostle were found under alter of one of the churches of the monastic complex during the excavation and renovation works in 2007. It is known that in XII century Armenian thinker and writer Mkhitar Gosh lived in Dadivank while working on his famous “Datastanagirk”, the first code of law in medieval Armenia.
The monastic complex of Dadivank consists of two groups of structures; the ecclesiastical structures in the north and the secular buildings in the south: two bell towers, 2 ancient churches, monk cells, guest house, bookhouse, etc. The most important construction period of Dadi temple is the first half of 13th century, when the construction of new buildings took place in the monastic complex. One of the first buildings of that period is considered to be Grigor Bishop’s vestibule-chapel. The inscription on the right side of the door shows that it was built in 1224 by Grigor Bishop. Numerous cross-stones were put inside the vestibule’s walls.
However, the pearl of the monastic complex is St. Katoghike Astvatsatsin Church built by princess Arzukhatun, the wife of Verin Khachen's prince Vakhtang, in 1214. She built church in memory of her husband and 2 sons who died in the war. St. Katoghike is a church with cross-shaped plan, two-storey depositors inside and with rectangular composition outwardly. The dome and the facades are designed with the decorative arch ornaments. The southern wall of the church is covered with the sculptures of sons of Arzukhatun princess, Hasan and Grigor with the model of the church in their hands, and the bust portrait sculptures of St. Dadi and lord Vakhtang are on the eastern facade of St. Katoghike Church.
St. Katoghike church houses valuable frescos which are the important and unique samples of the Armenian wall-painting art. The fresco of the southern wall presents the scene when the Christ hands the gospel to David Miraculous directing him to cure people. To the north there is a porch adjacent to the church which ends with belfry in the first floor of which one can see the two highly-artistic cross-stones decorated with ornaments.
After the rehabilitation works of the great monastic complex took place in the end of the 20th century Dadivank monastery stands proudly in the arms of Artsakh mountains ready to welcome all visitors.