The most significant monastery of Vayots Dzor is Noravank. Noravank was built in 13-14th centuries and it is really unique in world architecture. The monastic complex includes two churches, one porch and two tombs; it also includes three basilica chapels dated to 5-6th centuries A.D. It becomes an unforgettable moment of life for anyone who visits Noravank. Even the road leading to Noravank takes one breath. The huge, almost adjoined each other cliffs and the road nearly going into them ... and suddenly a small valley surrounded by hills gets appeared. The view of brick-red cliffs hidden in green bushes is so amazing that you can’t express it in any words. Even nowadays in our century of technology the main church of St. Karapet and its porch seem to be unimaginable and not of human making. Not to repeat the design of Noravank anywhere the architect Siranes and particularly the last genius of medieval Armenia Momik had done their best Here, on the front access of the porch a unique sculpture with the image bearing symbol of God The Father and the creation of man is chiseled. There is also a huge hipped dome without columns which seems to rise from the floor. The tombs of powerful Orbelian family are also unique where the combination of light and structure is thought up intricately. Here the tomb of Prince Smbat Orbelian is lightening up only on July 12 at 10:00 am on his birthday, when the ray of light falls out of the window directly on the lion face of the gravestone. And, the masterpiece of Momik is the original three composition built by order of Prince Burtel as a memorial church. This monument is supplemented with several cross-stones ("khachkar") which are works of art of craftsman Momik. Genius Momik was buried in Noravank and according to his will his grave is modestly decorated with simple cross-stone.


  • Vayots Dzor, Armenia
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