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Spitakavor Monastery

    Spitakavor Monastery is located on the slopes of Teksar mountain, 7 kilometres north of Vernashen village of the Vayots Dzor Province. The terrain is difficult, but the monastery can be reached on foot or with an all-terrain vehicle. It is about 8.4 kilometres from the University of Gladzor’s Museum and Tanahat Monastery and about 6 kilometres to the Proshaberd fortress. Spitakavor Monastery was built by two princes from the Proshian dynasty during the Zakarid Armenia period. The construction of the church began by Prince Eachi (died in 1318) and completed in 1321 by his son Prince Amir Hasan II. Between 1321 and 1330, the narthex was built, and in 1330 Hovhannes Proshian and his wife, Tadzna, added a three-story bell-tower to the western wall of narthex.

    The monastery became an “important cultural, educational and spiritual center” under the guidance of Father Superior and Phililogist Vardapet Avagter.

    The monastery was attacked in the 14th century by Lenk Timur whose armies destroyed its walls and narthex, known in Armenia as gavit. In the 14th or 15th century, after the fall of the Mongols, Ak-Koyunlu and Kara Koyunlu tribes attacked and “devastated” the region, including the monastery church gavit, monastery defense walls, and service building. Without restoration of the destroyed buildings and walls, the church of the monastery stood until the Persian-Ottoman War when in 1604 thousands of Armenians were forcibly resettled under Shah Abbas. The remains of the Armenian military leader and political thinker Garegin Nzhdeh were secretly buried in the yard of Spitakavor Monastery.

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