Goshavank

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Goshavank is a 12-13th century Armenian monastery located in the village of Gosh in the Tavush Province of Armenia. Today the monastery is not a functioning religious complex, although it remains a popular tourist destination and has recently undergone some light restoration. The impressive monastery which has remained in relatively good condition also houses one of the world's finest examples of a khachkar.

Goshavank was erected in the place of an older monastery once known as Nor Getik, which had been destroyed by an earthquake in 1188. Mkhitar Gosh, a statesman, scientist and author of numerous fables and parables as well as the first criminal code, took part in the rebuilding of the monastery.

At Goshavank, Mkhitar Gosh founded a school. One of its alumni, an Armenian scientist by the name of Kirakos Gandzaketsi wrote The History of Armenia. The architect Mkhitar the Carpenter and his disciple Hovhannes also took an active part in the building of the monastery. The complex was later renamed Goshavank and the village named Gosh in his honor.

Goshavank does not have outer walls, and is surrounded by village homes. All of the buildings are attached to each other except for S. Hripsime Chapel, which is located on the opposite hillside and within view.

Numerous religious and monumental civil buildings show that in the twelfth to thirteenth centuries the monastery was full of life.

The churches are decorated in accordance with the traditions of the time. As a rule, the door portals and windows are framed in rectangular or arched platbands some of which are profiled. The façade niches have multifoil or scalloped tops like those of the niches of the main church at Geghard. The unusual and artistically framed sun dial on the southern façade is an eye-catching decorative element.





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