GOSHAVANK

Church information

Goshavank is located not far from the village of Gosh in
Tavush region, on the right bank of the river Getik.
The monastery was built in 1188. It was renamed Nor
Getik by Mkhitar Gosh with the support of Prince Ivane
Zakaryan near the Getik. Monastery destroyed by the
earthquake, and after the death of Mkhitar Gosh it was
renamed Goshavank in honor of Gosh.
Goshavank was one of the religious, educational, and
cultural centers of medieval Armenia. In historical
sources, it was called a University, College,
Seminary. They taught Armenian and foreign languages,
philosophy, writing, painting, architecture, and other
subjects. Mkhitar Gosh, a famous scientist, legislator,
theologian, commentator, historian, fabulist and teacher,
author of a forensic book, has been working here for
about 25 years. Among the students of Goshavank were
the monks Vardapet and Kirakos Gandzaketsi, who
subsequently continued the traditions of Goshavank in the
schools they founded.
The Goshavank monastery complex includes the churches
of St. Astvatsatsin, St. Gregory, the vestibule, St. Gregory

the Illuminator, two other small chapels, the chapel of St.
Hripsime, a two-story library-bell tower, chapel ruins,
khachkars, foundations of small buildings. The oldest
building is the wall, which was later used as a refectory.
The main temple of Surb Astvatsatsin was built in 1191 –
1196 with the support of Prince Artsakh Vakhtang and his
wife Arzukhatun. Mkhitar Gosh and the monks took an
important part in the construction of the church. The
church is a domed hall with a pair of double-floor
frescoes on either side of the main tabernacle. The church
has an ornament, crosses are carved on the walls,
inscriptions have been preserved. There is a sundial on the
western facade.
The Small Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator was
built in 1237-1241. By grandson of Prince Vakhtang in
order of Prince Grigor. It is a monolithic structure that
Kirakos Gandzaketsi called “amazing” for the
magnificence of its luxurious construction. The
decoration of the church is one of the most important
examples of medieval Armenian decorative art. The
church is decorated with rich miniatures, wicker
ornaments, rosettes, and ornaments.
In Goshavank there are two lacy khachkars decorated
with precious stones, for which they received the
nickname “embroiderer”. The khachkars were engraved in
1291. The works of the talented master sculptor Pavel are
placed on a pedestal on either side of the Church of the

Holy Enlightenment. These khachkars are widely known
as the best examples of Armenian khachkars,
masterpieces of medieval art.
The Goshavank bookstore was built in 1241, like the
bookstore of the Hakhpat monastery. Inside the library
there were niches where manuscripts were kept. However,
like in other monasteries, manuscripts of Goshavank’s
have not survived till our days. Some of them were fired
during the Tatar-Mongol attacks. The unique surviving
samples of manuscripts were made in 1936. The
communists surrounded the church and burned it down,
so that not a single leaflet survived.
Goshavank is also one of the tourist destinations in
Armenia, it does not have lack of visitors.

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How to get there

Goshavank is located near the village of Gosh, Tavush
region, on the right bank of the Getik River.

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