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Location: Achajur v., Tavush region
Founding: X c
From Yerevan: 151km / 2h 5min

Makaravank is a monastic complex of the 13th century, which is located in Tavush region, 3 km South-West of Achajur village, on the slope of Mount Paytatap. At this moment it is being renovated. Makaravank plays an important role in Armenian architecture due to the uniqueness, richness and diversity of decorations.

Makaravank is one of the unique architectural monuments of medieval Armenia. All the constructions of the complex are built of a reddish tufa, dark pink andesite and greenish stones. Once, the monastery was surrounded by walls. The monastery includes 3 churches and a parish. There are 2 cemeteries, arched gate, water course, as well as ruins of domestic buildings.

The main church was built in 1205, according to the inscription on the khachkar (“cross-stone”) on the Southern side of it. The surface of the altar front is covered with masterpieces of Armenian medieval art: bass-reliefs of octagonal stars and octagonal polygons. Zoomorphic, floral ornaments and biblical scenes (Job whale in throat), etc are noteworthy in the sculptural decoration. Vache Vachutyan’s emblem with the illustration of two eagles is here as well. Illustrations of fish are special in Armenian medieval art with the realistic style. The sculpture of the architect (sculpturer) with instruments in his hand and his mane “Yeritasard” (“The young”) are on one of the stars.

St. Astvatsatsin (St. Holy Virgin) church was built by the abbot of Makaravank Hovhannes in 1198. The small vaulted chapel of medium height is in the Northern part of the church.
The destruction of the monastery was facilitated by several factors. The first was the landslides and the second was the fact, that andesite, used during the construction, does not endure moisture and crumbles. Last time Makaravank was renovated in 1970-1980. During "Green Armenia" tour you can visit Makaravank as well as other places, reflecting beauty and charm of Armenian nature. 

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