Haghartsin | Silk Road Armenia


Haghartsin monastery is located in the upper reaches of the Aghstev River of Tavush district. It is situated in dense oak wood, in the gorge of a small but turbulent mountain river. The church of St.Astvatsatsin (1281) is the biggest building of all, the artistic dominant of the ensemble. The tall sixteen-faceted dome, dominating all the other structures, is decorated with great proficiency. This adds the optical height of the dome and creates the impression that its drum is weightless. The refectory of Haghartsin, built by the architect Minas in 1248, is a structure of a rare composition. The structure is divided by pillars into two square-plan parts roofed with a system of intersecting arches. The walls are lined with stone benches, and at the western butt wall, next to the door, there is a broad archway for the numerous pilgrims to get in and out. Decoration is concentrated only in the central sections of the roofing, near the main lighting apertures. The proportionally diminishing architectural shapes create the impression of space.