Dadivank monastery

Dadivank was founded in the first century on the site of the grave of St. Dadi - a preacher of Christianity, who fall a cruel death.

Dadivank monastery is located on the northern route Stepanakert-Yerevan (95 kilometers from the capital). Beautiful piece of architecture on the left bank of the river Tartar so harmoniously inscribed in the slopes of the mountains that become an integral part of the natural landscape.

Dadivank was founded in the first century on the site of the grave of St. Dadi - a preacher of Christianity, who fall a cruel death. It was built mainly of light yellow- red limestone. What is interesting, there is an empty space between the dome of the church and the arch in which large clay jugs (karasses) were found. Pitchers are likely to be installed to lighten the load and save building material.

Significant parts of the walls are covered with inscriptions, most of which are engraved. The longest inscription on the structure (19 long rows) is inserted into the central arch of the south wall. According to this inscription, the monument was founded in 1214 by the efforts of the wife of Grand Prince Vakhtang, Arzu Khatun. The jewels of the complex are Katoghike and Arzu Khatun churches.

The church of Arzu Khatun, with its simple architectural forms, monumental sculpture and frescoes incorporated the constructive Armenian traditions of that time. The church had two entrances, from the west and north. The latter was eventually closed by masonry due to the decoration of the temple with frescoes in the 13th century. Dusty and soot- covered from candles, the almost invisible murals were cleaned and partially restored. One of the frescoes depicts Jesus, who passes the Bible to Nicholas the Wonderworker. Here, you can also see the Virgin and the Archangel Michael. Some fragments of the frescoes were painted in crimson red (vordan karmir) color. According to the inscription, they were made in 1297. The second fresco depicts St. Stephen, who preached Christianity, but people refused to accept the teaching and stoned him. The fresco shows angels transferring his spirit to heaven. These frescoes are expensive, large-sized compositional works with a direct emphasis on religious content. The plot of the frescoes, most likely, is a reflection of the socio-political thinking of the era.

The complex includes a belfry, chapel, monastery gate, the crypt of Aranshahik-Vakhtangyan family and a manuscript room. Two khachkars, unique or masterpieces, placed in the belfry, now considered the most famous monuments of the complex.

The architectural complex preserved the best traditions of centuries-old Armenian architectonics. Now, after the restoration Dadivank revived and is opened to the ayes of tourists. Don’t miss the opportunity to hike on the way to the complex to feel its unique majesty.

Photo credits: Hayk Melkonyan, David Hoffman, Alexey Yakovlev