Explore a different destination UNESCO World Heritage Site Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin, Armenia




Haghpat and Sanahin are two Byzantine monasteries in the Tumanian region in Armenia. They were built during the prosperous years of the Kiurikian Dynasty, between the 10th and the 13th centuries, and served as centres of learning.

Haghpat Monastery and Sanahin Monastery were inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites during the 20th session of the World Heritage Committee when it met in Merida, Mexico on 2-7 December, 1996. The core zones cover an area of 2.65 hectares surrounded by buffer zones of 23.8 hectares.

The monasteries represent - according to the World Heritage inscription - "the highest flowering of Armenian religious architecture", whose style is derived from the blending of Byzantine ecclesiastical architectural elements with traditional vernacular architecture of the Caucasian region.

Photos of Haghpat Monastery

Cathedral of St Nishan, Haghpat Monastery, Armenia
Cathedral of St Nishan, Haghpat Monastery, Armenia
Author: Heretiq (public domain)

Haghpat Monastery bell tower
Haghpat Monastery bell tower
Author: Heretiq (public domain)

The Amenaprkich khachkar
The Amenaprkich khachkar
Author: Baldiri (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Haghpat Monastery library
Haghpat Monastery library
Author: Baldiri (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Surb Nshan Church, Haghpat Monastery
Surb Nshan Church, Haghpat Monastery
Author: Baldiri (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Photos of Sanahin Monastery

Sanahin Monastery, Armenia
Sanahin Monastery, Armenia
Author: hans@hansdewaele.com (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Inside Sanahin Monastery
Ruins of Sao Miguel dos Missoes, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Author: Piotr Bystranowski (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Sanahin Monastery Library
Sanahin Monastery Library
Author: Heretiq (public domain)

Sanahin Monastery
Sanahin Monastery
Author: Hotel Achab (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

What to See in Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin

Haghpat Monastery was founded by Saint Nishan in the 10th century, around the same time that Sanahin Monastery was built. Haghpat Monastery is located in the village of Haghpat, in northern Lori Province, Armenia. Within the monastery is the small church of St Nishan. Built between 966-967 AD, it the oldest surviving building in the complex. The biggest building is the Cathedral of St Nishan, built between 967 and 991 AD.

In addition, there are other structures within Haghpat Monastery, including the Church of Sourb Grigor, also known as Church of St Gregory, built in 1005. It has two side chapels added later. The smaller chapel is known as Hamazasp House, and was built in 1257. The bigger chapel, not named, was built in the beginning of the 13th century.

With the grounds of Haghpat Monastery are several beautiful khachkars - stele bearing a cross, rosettes and other motifs - erected in the 11th to 13th centuries. The best known of these is the Amenaprkich, erected in 1273.

Sanahin Monastery was also founded in the 10th century. It is located in the village of Sanahin, in Lori Province, Armenia.

The name "Sanahin" actually means "this one is older than that one". The "that one" in the name persumably refers to Haghpat Monastery. The monastery has a round library with beautiful carvings. The two villages are within view of each other, separated by a deep canyon carved by the Debed river.

Location

Haghpat and Sanahin Monasteries are located in Lori Province, which is on the northern part of Armenia.

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: N 41 5 42 E 44 42 37.008
Inscription Year: 1996
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: II, IV

Location Map


View Monasteries of Haghpat and Sanahin in a larger map

Visiting this Site

Haghpat and Sanahin are on the northern part of Armenia. You should base your trip in Yerevan, the Armenian capital. Although it is quite a distance from Haghpat and Sanahin, there will be more tour packages and options to choose from in Yerevan, according to the amount of time you have in your hands.

Here's a comprehensive list of Hotels in Yerevan with online booking facilities. Booking is provided by HostelBookers, so there is no booking fee involved.

Getting there

Take the highway from Yerevan to Lori Province.

Book Hotel Rooms in Armenia and Worldwide

Click here also for a full list of hotels in Armenia or hotels worldwide. If you prefer budget accommodation in hostels, guesthouses or inns, check out hostels worldwide for budget accommodation providers with online booking.


Return to Armenia's World Heritage Sites
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