Tanahat Monastery

Coordinates: 39°46′50″N 45°23′57″E / 39.78048°N 45.39910°E / 39.78048; 45.39910
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AffiliationArmenian Apostolic Church
LocationVernashen, Vayots Dzor Province,
Tanahat Monastery is located in Armenia
Tanahat Monastery
Shown within Armenia
Tanahat Monastery is located in Vayots Dzor
Tanahat Monastery
Tanahat Monastery (Vayots Dzor)
Geographic coordinates39°46′50″N 45°23′57″E / 39.78048°N 45.39910°E / 39.78048; 45.39910
Completed8th–13th century

Tanahat Monastery (Armenian: Թանահատի վանք), is an 8th-century monastery 7 km south-east of Vernashen village in the Vayots Dzor Province of Armenia. It was built between the 8th and 13th centuries.[1][2][3] The monastery was also called the Red Monastery because it was built of red stone.[4] Tanahat monastery was built on the site of a pagan temple, which was dedicated to the Armenian goddess Anahit. A Christian temple was founded here in the 5th century. The early medieval cemetery is scattered next to the monastery. Tanahat Monastery functioned until the late Middle Ages and is now in good condition. According to the historian Stepanos Archbishop Orbelyan, in 735 the body of Stepanos Syunetsi was buried in Tanade monastery and a small chapel was built over the grave. In 1273–1279, on the place of the chapel, under the patronage of Prince Prosh and his family, with the help of the local residents, the church of St. Stepanos was built with dark bluish basalt hewn stones. The 13th century church called St Nshan or Varaga Surb Nshan is adjacent to the Saint Stepanos church from the north (probably, the famous holy icon of Varagavank was kept here for some time). On the stone of St Nshan's western entrance, a young horseman from the Proshian princely dynasty is carved, thrusting a spear into a lion's mare, and various birds are depicted above them. The sculptures of Tanade Monastery are valuable examples of medieval Armenian secular sculptures.

There are khachkars and tombstones of the 13th–16th centuries around Tanade monastery. In 1971, the territory of the Tanade monastery was excavated and the foundations of the vestibule of the monastery, the large nave church and its vestibule and secular buildings on the south side were discovered (it is assumed that Gladzor University operated in these buildings). In 1984, St. Stepanos and St. Nshan churches were renovated, and the territory of the monastery was improved.


  1. ^ Tanahat Monastery – Armeniapedia.org
  2. ^ Tanahat Monastery | Historical and Cultural attractions in Armenia
  3. ^ Tanahat monastery – Armenia – Black Sea Silk Road Corridor
  4. ^ Khudaverdyan, K. S.; et al. (1995). Armenian Concise Encyclopedia, Volume 2. Yerevan: Main editor of the Armenian encyclopedia. p. 264. ISBN 5-89700-003-4.

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