Don’t miss the beautiful cross! Haghpat Monastery, a World Heritage Site in Armenia
Haghpat Monastery, located in the Lori region of northern Armenia, is a monastery on a mountain made of hard basalt. It is a World Heritage Site where you can see the traditional architectural style called “Gavit.”
There are many buildings, such as a cathedral, a bell tower, and a conference room, and there are many “Khachkar” (stone monuments of the cross)” with beautiful reliefs! Each has a different design, so please find your favourite.
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Heavy stone “Haghpat Monastery.”
“Haghpat Monastery” is a World Heritage Site located in the village of Haghpat, about 30 km from the border with Georgia.
It is a complex facility consisting of a cathedral, a church, a bell tower, a library, etc. Multiple buildings are built intricately on a large site that does not seem to be in the mountains.
“Huffpat” means “strong wall”, and the monastery walls are made of hard basalt. Since it was not destroyed by war or earthquake, it was called by such a name from around the 13th century.
However, it was called “Subirishi”, which means “holy light”, because the light first shined on the church when the sun rose.
The monastery is located on an open hill so that you can see the scenery of the surrounding mountains. You can enjoy the scenery as if it were drawn in a picture book.
Shrine of traditional architecture
The cathedral built at the entrance of the church is the largest of the monasteries.
It is a style called “Gavit”, consisting of four pillars and a dome-shaped roof, which is a traditional architectural style in Armenia.
This Gavit has several roles, one as a fort for those who cannot enter the church (people who the Orthodox Armenian Apostles have not baptized) in the event of a war or other emergency. , To protect the royal grave.
The former king built a tomb in this place where everyone comes to pray so that he will always remember after his death.
The grave is buried in the ground, but it’s okay to walk around on it.
Also, Gavit has a hole in the ceiling for light, but in the old days, there was no glass, so it could not be closed. Therefore, there is a place under the hole to receive rain and snow.
Church with frescoes
The church is very small compared to Gavit, with only a few four-seater settees.
There is an altar on the east side, and the curtains are open to see inside.(the months before Easter are closed).
The apostle of Christ is drawn on the altar wall. But in Armenia, it is not 13 but 12, excluding Judas.
Also, on the wall beside the altar. Christianity was introduced to Armenia and how Christianity was recognized as a border after that is drawn.
However, it was painful due to war and rain, and now I can only see part of it.
On the church’s outer wall, you can see the relief that the two sons of Ashot III have the church.
Before the Soviet era, the Armenian church was strong and above the king. Therefore, important meetings were held in the meeting room of the monastery, and the priest always attended.
- There is also an altar in the meeting room to camouflage that even if someone suddenly comes in during the war, they pray instead of the meeting.
- The room with many holes in the floor in the library.
- When the enemy attacked, I hid the acupoint containing the book in this hole to protect it.
- The bell tower is the newest of the monastery’s buildings and dates back to the 13th century.
- I don’t use it now, but I used to ring the bell to let me know the time of prayer and mass.
Armenian cross “Khachkar”
In Armenia, crucifix stone plates called “Khachkar” can be seen in various places, but here in Haghpat Monastery, Khachkar is famous in Armenia.
The Trinity is represented in Khachkar, with the lower part representing the “world,” the centre representing. “Christianity,” and the upper part representing the “sky.”
Twelve apostles are depicted on the left and right because a person is born in the world. Becomes a Christian, and eventually becomes the Holy Spirit.
Different designs characterize the Armenian style, but the elaborate reliefs are all wonderful, and this alone is enough to look good.
- Basic information on Haghpat Monastery
- Address: Haghpat
- Access: Convenient taxi or local tour from Alaverdi.