SANAHIN (Սանահին)

Sanahin is another famous monastery listed by UNESCO, packed with ancient graves, darkened chapels, and medieval study halls. The inner sanctum of the cross-shaped Surp Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God Church) is the oldest structure, dating back to 934. Its adjoining gavit was built in 1181. In its heyday, the monastery was renowned for its school of illuminators and calligraphers and medical school. Its name means “older than that, ” referring to the nearby Haghpat Monastery. Sanahin’s extensive library (scriptorium) was built in 1063. Square in plan and vaulted, it has ten niches of varying sizes in which codices and books were stored. A small church dedicated to St Gregory the Illuminator is at the southeastern corner of the library. The 11th-century Academy of Gregory Magistros is located between the two main churches. The cemetery, located southeast of the main buildings, contains a 12th-century mausoleum housing the Zakarian princes. In 1978 there was a cable car constructed to bring as many as 15 people at a time up to Sanahin. Unfortunately, it closed in 2015 when lightning struck the motor assembly and the power generator.

Parking location – Sanahin: 41.087761N 44.666260E (🚻 – 100 AMD)