Vanevan Monastery

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This article is about the monastery. For the town 15 km northeast, see Vanevan.
Vanevan Monastery
Վանևան
Vanevan Monastery Front.JPG
Vanevan Monastery (Church of St. Grigor on the left).
Vanevan Monastery is located in Armenia
Vanevan Monastery
Shown within Armenia
Basic information
Location Artsvanist village, Gegharkunik Province,  Armenia
Geographic coordinates 40°08′47″N 45°30′56″E / 40.146494°N 45.515513°E / 40.146494; 45.515513Coordinates: 40°08′47″N 45°30′56″E / 40.146494°N 45.515513°E / 40.146494; 45.515513
Affiliation Armenian Apostolic Church
Architectural description
Architectural type Cruciform church with four semicircular apses
Architectural style Armenian
Completed 903
Specifications
Dome(s) 2 (one on the main church and a second on the church to the right that has since collapsed)

Vanevan Monastery (Armenian: Վանևան) is a monastery located along a gorge south of the village Artsvanist slightly south-east of Lake Sevan in the Gegharkunik Province of Armenia. The main church of Saint Grigor, was built in 903 by Prince Shapuh Bagratuni and his sister Mariam, siblings of King Smbat I. The church located on the right side (facing the monastery) may have been built around the same time, but the gavit between the two was added later. Saint Grigor was renovated and restored by King Gagik I of the Bagratid dynasty in the late 10th century. During this restoration a surrounding wall was built.

It has four central arches that widen progressively. An addition of a corner course between the arch bands allows this to occur. Vanevan and Tatev are the earliest such examples of this. Saint Grigor's drum is octagonal inside and outside with an inscription on the outer portion that dates the church. The drums of both the main church and the church on the left have a decorative molded band that is identical in both churches, leading to the belief that the two churches are contemporaneous. Only the dome on the main church has survived, while the dome and drum of the church on the right has since collapsed.

Behind the monastery is a spring and cave which leads out to the top of the ravine. It is said that it was once used as an escape route from Turkish invaders. Headed east up the side of the ravine behind the monastery not too far away is a large but now broken khachkar monument. Also in the vicinity just south of Artsvanist is an early cemetery and remains of a church. Approximately three kilometers south of this is Kolataki Saint Astvatsatsin Church from the late 9th - early 10th century and Hnevank from the 10th century. Nearby is also the cyclopean fortress Bruti Berd.

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