Haghpat village is in the Lori Province of Armenia, located near the city of Alaverdi and the state border with Georgia.
It is notable for Haghpat Monastery, a religious complex founded in the 10th century and included in the UNESCO World Heritage List along with monasteries in nearby Sanahin.
The village itself receives little benefit from these tourists and remains impoverished, with the majority of its residents keeping livestock and growing vegetables for food.
Some residents are able to find work in the city of Alaverdi, about 10 km from Haghpat, while others gather berries from the nearby forests and sell them.
Water is gathered from the numerous mountain springs, which are abundant in the area.
Haghpat Monastery is a medieval Armenian monastery complex, described as a “masterpiece of religious architecture and a major center of learning in the Middle Ages”, this venerable institution of the Armenian Apostolic Church was placed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1996.
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world’s oldest national church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in AD 301.
The monastery has been damaged many times. Sometime around 1130, an earthquake destroyed parts of Haghpat Monastery and it was not restored until fifty years later. It also suffered numerous attacks by armed forces in the many centuries of its existence and from a major earthquake in 1988. Nevertheless, much of the complex is still intact and stands today without substantial alterations.