The exact date of the foundation of Haghpat is unknown. Documentary evidence and monuments of material culture suggest that the structure date back to the middle of the 10th century. The most important of the cupola-hall type buildings is Nshana church in Haghpat, founded by Khosrovanuish in 976 and completed in 991. It is distinguished by its compactness and harmoniously balanced shapes crowned with a tremendous dome. Haghpat had a wooden roof, probably a round and pointed one, resting on internal pillars. The stone roof resting on crossing arches and built between 1258 and 1262, changed the artistic look of the interior substantially. Differing in their sizes and shapes, the arches carrying the overhanging wall tops and the arches of the niches do not only emphasize, by their arrangement, the central axes of the premise, but add to the impression of its considerable height. Sanahin and Haghpat complexes are especially rich in khachkars (more than 80 of them have survived). Most of the khachkar have the traditional shape of a cross. Haghpat was major literary center.
The monasteries at Haghpat and Sanahin were chosen as UNESCO World Heritage.