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Location: Aragatsotn region
Established: 5th century
From Yerevan: 28,3 km/ 34 min.
Oshakan is a village, 3 km South-East of Ashtarak city. According to the legend, Noah together with his family came down Mount Masis (Ararat) and saw Oshakan, free of water. Seeing this, they claimed «Osh akan», which is translated as «a miracle in front of our eyes». Being in the Arshakyans' (a royal dynasty in Armenia) estates, the village was their property.
Mesrop Mashtots is the creator of Armenian alphabet, founder of Armenian school and literature. In 394 he became a priest-teacher; accompanied with his pupils he preached Christian doctrine in different regions. Mesrop Mashtots translated the Bible into Armenian; this translation is considered to be the best in the world. Mashtots was born in village Hatsekats of Taron region, in family of a builder named Vardan. The presumable date of birth is 361.
After his death millenary Vahan Amatuni and colonel Hmayak Mamikonyan transferred the teacher's body to Oshakan, where in three years: in 443, Vahan Amatuni built a chapel. In sign of his deep respect and reverence towards Mashtots, catholicos Hovsep A Hoghotsmetsi entrusted Koryun (Mashtots' s pupil) to write history of life and activity of the great teacher.
Then in 1875-79 catholicos Gevorg D built a church-basilica on the place of the old chapel. The crypt of the teacher is located under the altar; in the Eastern side a belfry of cylindrical form was built in 1884. It is unique in Armenian architecture with its location as well as construction. In the 1960-ies fresco inside the church was done by H. Minasyan.
A monument (1962), dedicated to the 1600th anniversary of his birth, was established near the entrance of Oshakan. The monument consists of two slabs, and Armenian alphabet is carved on the left one. Exactly here international symposiums and seminars, in particular, events on «Translator's Day» are held.