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Gndevank Monastery

    Gndevank monastery is located on the west side of the Vayk-Jermuk road on the bank of the Arpa river. The old road is blocked by landslides and the monastery is approached by walking about 1.5 kilometres from the junction with the old road, after a bridge crossing. About 3 kilometres  away from the church is the rock known as “Vartan Mamikonian.”

    Gndevank monastery was built in 936 AD by Princess Sophia of Syunik. She stated the purpose of her building the monastery as: “Vayots Dzor was a ring without a jewel but I built this monastery as the jewel for the ring”. Priest Sargis was the first abbot of the church. Priest Yeghishe was entrusted the responsibility for its construction. In 999 AD it was expanded with a gavit, a narthex or entrance to the church. In subsequent years the monastery was fortified with walls around it, under the orders of Abbot Petros (Peter).

    The monastery, which was damaged during an earthquake, was refurbished during 1965 and 1969. Further renovations were done during 2013. In 1875, several items of religious paraphernalia were found in a secret chamber in the church.

    For more places to see in Vayots dzor: Places to see in Vayots Dzor