SAGHMOSAVANK

Saghmosavank (The “Monastery of Psalms” in Armenian) located in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia. The monastery complexes of Hovhannavank and Saghmosavank are 5 kilometers apart and both monuments perch on the edge of the precipitous gorge of the Kasakh River. Their silhouettes dominate the adjacent villages and rise sharply against the background of the mountains crowned by Mt. Aragats.

The architectural ensembles of Hovhannavank and Saghmosavank are distinguished by a compact arrangement of the monuments around the main building. The clever use of the terrain (the eastern walls of the churches verge on the edge of the precipice and seem to be an extension of it) adds to the picturesqueness of the complexes which are especially expressive when viewed from the opposite side of the Kasakh River Canyon.

The main temples of the monasteries erected by Prince Vache Vachutyan, the Church of Zion in Saghmosavank (1215) and the Church of Karapet in Hovhannavank (1216-1221). The complex of Sahgmosavank Monastery includes the Church of St. Zion, gavit, repository of manuscripts and the Church of St. Astvatsatsin (The Holy Virgin).

The interior of the Saghmosavank is unusually beautiful. The red and black colors of some separate parts are due to the red and black stones. Red, white and yellow paint add to the whole beauty of the walls as well as the entire interior. The eastern and western facades are distinguished by modest decoration and khachkars are inserted into masonry in various parts of the facade, some into the arched niches. Numerous memorial crosses are cut on it.

The book repository of Saghmosavank, built in 1255 under Prince Kurd Vachutyan is among Armenia’s finest buildings and original in its composition. The book repository communicates, through doors, with the vestry and church of the St. Astvatsatsin to which one can get only through the book depository. As a renowned academic center, the Saghmosavank Monastery was famous for its manuscripts. There a number of illuminated manuscripts were created and copied at this monastery.

On the territory of the monasteries, on the cemeteries adjacent to them and also in the interiors of architectural structures there are many tombstones, some of them in the shape of richly ornamented khachkars.