Gandzasar – a mountain of treasure
In the historical village of Vank, in Artsakh, there is a place that attracts not only by the exterior magnificence and palette of flowers created by nature… This place keeps the secret of the mountains and the mystic of the universal tranquility.
And the Gandzasar monastery rises here.
The majestic monastery seems to be torn away from the bustle and daily routine of our existence. Monastery Gandzasar is truly considered the pearl of Artsakh.
The very name of the monastery is translated as “Treasure Hill”, the reason for this name is that in the Middle Ages, deposits of silver and gold were found here in the mines.
There is a story that tells us that in the temple tomb in the buried form the head of John the Baptist is, which was chopped off by Herod. That is why the main church of the monastery is called Surb Hovhannes Mkrtich (St. John the Baptist). A lot of ornamental themes are here, the dome of the church thanks to this looks majestic and graceful.
History of Gandzasar cathedral
The temple was built by Prince Hasan Jalalyan. Gandzasar in a solemn atmosphere was consecrated in 1240.
In fact, the temple had then the destiny of the residence and the family tomb of the princely family. Later, in the fourteenth century, Gandzasar assumed the status of the residence of the Catholicosate.
And in the eighteenth century it was from here that petitions were sent to Tsar Peter the Great to allow Armenians to be granted Russian citizenship and military assistance for the liberation struggle against the Turks
The monastery survived a difficult history. Many people tried to master it. In the thirteenth century it was a treacherous attack by Mongolian-Tatar troops, then the Turkic nomads wished to become its masters.
And during the military operations already in our time, in the period from 1991 to 1994, the monastery was repeatedly bombarded and attacked. Even within the walls of the monastery there were bullets from missile bombardments.
But the monastery survived… In spite of everything… A stately giant, humbly stretching in the mountains of Artsakh. As a warrior, as a living witness to the history of Armenian people. Gandzasar is not only a monument of history, but also a spirit of freedom and love for one’s native land. The miracle of nature and human thinking are united in the image of the Gandzasar temple.