Hovhannavank

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Location: Ohanavan, Aragatsotn region
Established: 1216
From Yerevan: 28km/35min

Hovhannavank or otherwise called Hovanavank is a monastic complex, located near Hovanavan village of Aragatsotn region. Hovhannavank is dedicated to Hovhannes Mkrtich (John the Baptist).
The most ancient construction of the complex is a basilica, built in the 4th century by Gregory the Enlightener. From the Northern side the basilica neighbors with the church of the first Christians (4th century), which, most probably, was built on the place of a pagan temple. The wooden dome of the church was replaced by a stone one in 554; it was completely renovated in 1652-1734. The main st. Karapet church neighbors with the basilica from the Southern side. It was built in 1216-1221 under the auspices of duke Vache Vachutyan, but the construction was finished by his son Kurd. This complex with its architectural style and solutions is within the most prominent constructions of the 13th century. 
On all the constructions of Hovhannavank from inside and outside as well about 100 inscriptions about dynasties (especially about Vachutyan dukes), buildings and supports are carved. They were collected and published by a well-known Armenian historian and epigraphist Karapet Ghafadaryan. 
The educational center of Hovhannavank was one of the most ancient cultural centers of Ararat province. In the end of the 16th century calendar art, philosophy and music was taught in Hovhannavank School. About 20 manuscripts, found in Hovhannavank are kept in Yerevan Matenadaran after Mesrop Mashtots. In Hovhannavank village and in the territory near cyclopean fortress (2-1 millennium BC), a monument (5 century), living house of the monastery (17-18 cc), a cemetery with khachkars (“cross-stones”) (9-17 cc) were found. 


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