Noravank Monastery


Noravank (meaning new monastery) is a 13th century monastery. Noravank was founded in 1205 by Bishop Hovhannes, the former Abbot of Vahanavank. The monastic complex includes the churches of S. Astvatsatsin (Holy Mother of God), S. Karapet and S. Grigor chapel with a vaulted hall. Ruins of various civil buildings and khachkars are found both inside and outside of the walls.

S. Astvatsatsin

The nearest and grandest church is the Astvatsatsin (“Mother of God”). The church, completed in 1339, is said to be the masterpiece of the talented sculptor and miniaturist Momik, who designed it, and was also his last work. Near the church there is his tomb khachkar, small and modestly decorated, dated the same year. Narrow steps projecting from the west facade lead up to the entrance to the church.

S. Karapet Church

The second church is the S. Karapet, a cross within square design with restored drum and dome built in 1216–1227. The church was built by the decree of Prince Liparit Orbelyan. In 1340 an earthquake destroyed the dome of the church which in 1361 was reconstructed by the architect Siranes.

S. Grigor Chapel

The side chapel of S. Grigor was added by the architect Siranes to the northern wall of S. Karapet church in 1275. The chapel contains more Orbelian family tombs.