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Sanahin





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Century of Foundation: X Date of Foundation: 967 Region: Lori Location: Sanahin village Sanahin village is connected to the main highway by a footbridge built in 1192, the oldest well-preserved bridge in Armenia. Erected near the town of Alaverdi, Sanahin ranks amongst the most celebrated monasteries of medieval Armenia and is comprised of several churches and chapels. In the reign of Queen Khosrovanoush in 967 Amenaprkich Church was built, which later became the cathedral of the monastery. In 1185 a gavit (hall) was added to the cathedral. Prince Vache Vachoutian built a nakhagavit in 1211. The bell-tower, dating from the 13th century, overlooks the whole monastic complex. The library was built in 1063. Niches in the thick walls were used for storing books, and the semi-columns are covered with fine carvings depicting reptiles and birds. It is believed that great poet troubadour Sayat-Nova was born in Sanahin, the birthplace of his mother. After his life in Tiflis and his fame as a court minstrel, he became a monk and moved to Haghpat to serve the monastery, where he continued to play his favorite stringed instrument, the saz, in his monastic cell.

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