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Hayravank Monastery

The monstery of Hayravank is situated on the shore of Sevan Lake, in Hayravan village, on a high cape, from where opens an amazing view to Lake Sevan. St. Stepanos church- the oldest structure of the monastery was built in the IV(IX) century. It's a church with four altars. It is the rarest example of Armenian (early) medieval architecture.

The church was built of black basalt and the dome- of tuff. In 1211 the church was reconstructed and a porch was built. A kilometer far from the monastery there is a cyclopean fortress, which, according to the legend, was connected to Hayravank by an underground road. In the courtyard of the church, there are khachkars and tombstones of the XVI century, and outside the monastery walls, there are preserved ruins of cells and other structures.

Hayravank was a large centre, where many manuscripts were created. The monastery worked until the XIX century. In the 1980s it was restored.

The fact that before the monastery construction people were living there, indicate the traces of the settlement and houses found here. Tere were also wrecks of pottery from the Bronze Age. But the locality was developed especially in the Iron Age, which is evidenced by the discovered iron tools, weapons, and decorations on the territory of the ancient settlement that continues up to the megalithic fortress.

According to the legend, during the invasion of Tamerlane in 1381, the prior of the monastery let all the captured Armenians into the church, and, with the help of the Life-giving Cross, turned them into pigeons, which flying from the window.