Saghmosavank

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Location: Aragatsotn region 
Established: 13 c
From Yerevan: 34,2 km / 34 min
Saghmosavank was built in the 13th century by duke Vache Vachutyan. Lots of parchments were written and painted in the library of the main church of the monastery. 
In 1215 duke Vache Vachutyan built St. Sion church and presented a village to the monastery. The church, located 5 km of Hovhannavank, has cross-domed rectangular hall with two two-storey vestries. The church facades are decorated with «Armenian holes» (narrow slits similar to the ones for windows). The drum of the dome has cylindrical form, which gives the whole construction perfect symmetry. In the first quarter of the 13th century, Vache Vachutyan built the four column parish to St. Sion church; the central part has tent form cover, as well as round yerdik (lighting aperture) with six column rotunda on it. Other parts of the cover (mirror, cylindrical, with intersecting arches, and with decorative tromps) are diverse and unique as well.
The library-church is located on the South-Western side of the main church. It was built by Vach Vachutyan and his wife Khorishah in 1255 in memory of their daughter Mamakhatun, who left life very early. St. Astvatsatsin church (St. Holy Virgin) is situated on the South of St. Sion church, beside the Western walls; it was built in 1235. This vaulted construction has rectangular plan with semicircular altar from the Western side. The cemetery is located in the North of the monastic complex, where there are noteworthy khachkars («cross-stones») and khachkar-monuments of 13-14th century. 
For some time Grigor Tatevatsi taught in Saghmosavank. Saghmosavank was and educational center. There are several written and copied manuscripts, saved here. Some of them have special value: sermons, copied by scribes Mesrop and Mkhitar in 1185-88, Gospel of 1496, rewritten by father Hovhannes and other manuscripts. In 1611 father Sargis S met with priest Kirakos in Jerusalem; having come back to Armenia, they founded the Syunyats Mets Anapat (Big Desert of Syunik). In 1669 the abbot of Saghmosavank was Voskan Yerevantsi. Saghmosavank was renovated by father Gabriel.
Saghmosavank was partially damaged because of the earthquake of 1988. Nevertheless, renovation of 2000 returned the complex former splendor and luxury.


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