Sanahin Monastery, Armenia

I got into Armenia from Georgia across the border and visited Sanahin Village.

Sanahin Monastery is an Armenian monastery founded in the 10th century on the wooded mountain slope of Mt. Tchantinler above the village of Sanahin, in the Lori Province of Armenia.

Sanahin village is quiet and clean. The villagers were kind to their visitors but they are not busy bee.

Sanahin village

Sanahin village

Sanahin village

Sanahin village

Sanahin Monastery

Sanahin Monastery

Shabby Sanahin Monastery

Shabby Sanahin Monastery

The name Sanahin literally translates from Armenian as “this one is older than that one”, presumably representing a claim to having an older monastery than the neighbouring Haghpat Monastery. The two villages and their monasteries are similar in many ways, and lie in plain view of each other on a dissected plateau formation, separated by a deep “crack” formed by a small river flowing into the Debed river.

Inside of the monastry

The Monastery interior

The main altar in the church

The main altar of the church

Khatchkar detail at the monastery

Khatchkar detail at the monastery

A khachkar is a carved, memorial stele (stone monument) bearing a cross, and often with additional motifs such as rosettes, interlaces, and botanical motifs. Khachkars are characteristic of Medieval Christian Armenian art.

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St. Gregory Chapel of the Monastry

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The monastery’s library

As with Haghpat, Sanahin is frequented by an increasing number of tourists, due to its recent inclusion on the itineraries of numerous Armenian tour agencies, the beauty of its monastery complex matching that of Haghpat’s. The complex belongs to the Armenian Apostolic Church with numerous khachkars (stones with elaborate engravings representing a cross) and bishop gravesites scattered throughout it.

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